The bridge built by current and future technologies is bright – an extravaganza of glitz and glamour that, like a fire breathing dragon, can either:
- scar and frighten the worlds it is meant to co-create with, or
- ignite the fires of co-creation and creativity.
Desolation or co- creation? How do we ensure the latter and minimise the former? We need M.A.G.I.C. and lots of it! We need Mental Agility to Grow Intuitive Creativity (.MA.G.I.C).
There is nothing supernatural about M.A.G.I.C, nothing accidental, mysterious or naive. There is a method, structure – process – to learning M.A.G.I.C. Which makes it eminently suitable for en masse digital delivery using interactive technologies like AI and AR.
British Professor Brian Cox provided a poignant example of M.A.G.I.C. in action when asked on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC 13 November 2017) Q&A program to:
- discuss the recent neutron star clash (August 17, 2017) – and its relevance to humanity
- offer examples of cutting edge science and explain their use to the ‘everyday’
- explore his answers to the above in relation to contemporary Australian energy policies, climate change – and the future?
Professor Cox did all of the above with aplomb – prompting #tag screen comments from “WOW!” to ‘how’ is it possible to link :
’… education, politics, science, Einstein’s theory of relativity (explained in a nutshell) and its relevance to GPS systems – all in a few minutes?’
How does Professor Cox do this? He has highly developed M.A.G.I.C. skills. Cox is aware of his skill set; he understands the method and structure behind it, and this allows him to apply his skills to anything – anywhere, including live televised discussions.
Cox’s mental agility provides a base for him to flow seamlessly from one area of knowledge/ subject/ context, to another. To legitimate himself to his audience, Cox uses logic and facts. To deepen his connection with them, Cox’s intuitive creativity kicks in – enabling him to offer everyday examples that connect – often abstract concepts – to personal experiences.
The more Cox engages his M.A.G.I.C skill set, the more passionate he becomes, the more enthralled and entranced his audience – and the more they think. Even those that disagree with his commentary have to ‘think’ before they communicate. And this is the magic of M.A.G.I.C. It is highly contagious.
M.A.G.I.C. increases M.A.G.I.C. in everyone/thing it connects with.
- development demands interaction
- structure necessitates accountability and transparency.
- presence induces passion, curiosity, motivation, confidence.
Being a world renowned physicist isn’t for everyone, but developing our M.A.G.I.C. skill set is. Why?because M.A.G.I.C. is creative genius that has its feet very firmly grounded in the real world – and – beyond.
Organisations, industry, businesses, education – ignore M.A.G.I.C.’s development at their peril. Fire breathing dragons come in many forms and bridges can be less structurally sound than they appear.
For example, in an article titled,“The iPhone X is the beginning of the End for Apple” Professor Mohanbir Sawhney (http://fortune.com/2017/11/02/apple-iphone-x-ai-google-amazon/) suggests that interactive technologies like AI and AR are redefining people’s relationship with technologies – and this will come at a cost to ‘older’ technologies e.g., smart phones. Companies heavily invested in such technologies, warns Sawhney, may find their technological empires crumbling. Citing Apple as a poignant example, Sawhney concludes:
“As AI-driven phones like Google’s Pixel 2 and virtual agents like Amazon Echo proliferate, smart devices that understand and interact with us and offer a virtual and/or augmented reality will become a larger part of our environment. Today’s smartphones will likely recede into the background.”
Interestingly, immediately after the launch of Apple’s new iPhones, forum and social media discussions suggested that while developers, and some consumers, were having fun with the ARKIT on Apple’s new iPhones, no one knew yet – how or who, the ARKIT would help or what it could be used for in the long term.
For individuals with highly developed M.A.G.I.C. skills the relationship between technological developments, such as AR, and potential applications are obvious. Why? because the very basis of M.A.G.I.C.’s skill set is creative innovation focused towards pragmatic and commercial applications.
M.A.G.I.C.’s strength is ideas + unknown + application + method = commercially viable outcomes.
Traditionally, the development of highly evolved deep learning skills en masse, such as M.A.G.I.C., has proved tricky, as Maria Spies from Navitas Group points out:
“Education is difficult, it’s hard digitally. It’s not as easy as tapping and getting an Uber, or booking a hotel room… (Tim Dodd, Australian Financial Education Review, 1 September 2017, EdTech Summit).”
The 21 Century, however, is a magical age, because technologies such as AI and AR provide platforms that can potentially deliver opportunities to develop M.A.G.I.C. in anyone, anywhere – and that equates to DEEP, highly flexible, INTERACTIVE learning – EN MASSE!
The higher our M.A.G.I.C skill set the:
- stronger our fortitude in the face of the unknown
- wider our embrace of new ideas, concepts and developments
- greater our acceptance of difference
- deeper our understanding of change
- higher our levels of creative genius
- more profound our connection and comprehension of the human condition: communication
- greater our passion for learning – any thing
- more tenacious our commitment to accountability and responsibility: transparency.
People with high levels of M.A.G.I.C. have the specific skills that employers, such as, Amazon, Tesla, Microsoft, or Google require – they understand:
- how to work with information – ANY information: mental agility.
- The relationship between analytical abilities and creative outcomes: structure and process.
- How to build bridges between ideas, such as, AR and its pragmatic application in LMS’s, training packages, and EdTech scenarios: intuitive creativity.
- The human condition – and its pivotal role promoting, avoiding and/or hindering – CHANGE.
- Themselves – how they learn, how they work, how they create, how they co create.
- M.A.G.I.C’s role in supporting and developing deep learning practices in any environment and at any stage in the life cycle.
- How to support others to develop M.A.G.I.C, and
- how to support technologically driven industries develop applications that foster M.A.G.I.C – in anyone and any context.
M.A.G.I.C employees focus themselves at the epicentre of any knowledge base they interact with – there is structure, method, rigour to this process; there is mental and intellectual agility. It makes their creative potential useable, doable, adaptable, marketable, dependable and, infinitely valuable.
AND it is these SKILLS above all others that companies like Apple, and the likes of Elon Musk, seek in their workforce – and for very good reasons.
M.A.G.I.C. is the ability to be open to and co create with the unknown – in ways that allow for what is good in technology and humanity to be highly visible – highly useful – highly adaptable, highly transparent – and highly commercial.
Technical experts are an important part of a workforce’s equation, as is training them, but they are only a PART of the equation. These people can, and do, construct magical technical dragons – impressive fiery mythical creations, but they cannot aways build bridges between their creations and humanity.
Sometimes, as in the case of Apple’s ARKITS – technological bridges aren’t as useful as they could be; and Sawhney’s discussion of industry leadership and survival V technological innovation highlights what happens to tech bridges that become, all too quickly, the bridges less travelled.
For any business/organisation/individual to survive, let alone thrive in the 21 Century, enhancing their M.A.G.I.C. skill set needs to be at the core of training and development programs. Digital technologies offer enormous potential for delivering M.A.G.I.C. skills en masse and such skill development has eminently practical outcomes. For example:
- raising awareness of social and personal biases when developing tech solutions, such as, coding algorithms.
- enabling tech innovations, such as, AR, to be developed hand-in-hand with suites of applications for their use, including options for organisations, industry, businesses, to embed the new technology into customised LMS’s.
Amazon, Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Tesla, any employer, needs employees who can create tomorrow.
Employees need skills that enhance their motivation, passion, confidence, creativity – in any context – because today’s expert will be tomorrow’s norm. Training packages and educational regimes that focus solely on ‘technical expertise’ will produce employees unable to create tomorrow or build bridges between past, current and future trends.
If reading, writing and arithmetic were the ‘must have’ skill set of the 20 Century, then M.A.G.I.C. is its 21 Century sibling. The former allowed – literarily – billions of people to work with, develop and understand, all sorts of ‘content knowledge’ – from cooking to cosmology, bio medicine to cloth manufacturing, engineering (in all its forms) to film making, and riding bicycles to gardening – the content list is endless.
Reading and writing skills supported the genesis of technological development. The latter underpins the onslaught of information overload/content saturation – in any and every area of human life. Developing our M.A.G.I.C. skill set allows us to navigate this invasive onslaught while making and creating choices that support us – and those around us (at work, at home, at play – locally and globally).
M.A.G.I.C. is as important to our ability to thrive in the world as reading and writing are: it’s a core life skill, that makes us more than highly employable – it offers the potential for a balanced, low stress, fulfilling life that is indeed – magical.
Digital technologies, such as, AR and AI, can support the creation of magical lives, because they can, with a bit of – M.A.G.I.C. – deliver deep interactive learning experiences en masse. This is the real magic of AI.
If you would like to discuss ideas for supporting the development of M.AG.I.C., Deep Learning, and/ or other skills, using technologies, such as, AI and AR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Louise Bricknell’s areas of expertise include understanding current and future trends and transforming these into commercially viable products, outcomes and strategies – in any context. The relationship between digital technology and the development of Deep Learning skills is one example.