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Why TikTok Is So Toxic: Quarantine Edition

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An iPhone showing the TikTok logo on a white screen, while placed on a grey counter.
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Ladies and gentlemen, the “perfect,” “faultless” look does not exist. The “ideal” physical image often portrayed through social media is just another misguided interpretation of what the status quo tries to tell us.

Not only has social media usage been exponentially increasing globally because of quarantine, but a newer and often-frequented platform, TikTok, has definitely taken over as the hottest trend. But how toxic is TikTok, really?

The greatest issue herein lies in the fact that whatever time-consuming media we perceive as “entertainment” or an “escape from reality,” can actually be a poor mental health vehicle.

The most viewed, shared, and popular uploads on TikTok sport extremely fit or thin girls, which is a huge trigger for teens already struggling with low self-esteem, depression, and especially eating disorders while staying cooped up at home. 

It might be time to take a step back and find other means of entertainment. Being stuck at home with a full kitchen within one’s reach can already be toxic enough while trying to combat mental health issues and eating disorders.

But adding hours of watching TikTok videos daily that seem to predominantly portray “flawless” girls and a whole new standard of beauty, could just as well make quarantining that much harder.

Several teenage girls who are also struggling with maintaining mental health during the quarantine were asked a series of questions about TikTok, two of which were sent to all three interviewees and the rest, personalized. Here’s what they have to say about why TikTok is so toxic:

General Q: Do you feel that TikTok is more of a toxicity than entertainment? Why or why not?

Melissa Gormus (19 yrs. old): I think the toxicity of TikTok honestly depends on the types of videos you watch (the For You page adjusts based on what you like). Personally I find it very entertaining, but I could definitely see how it would be toxic for a younger girl watching the more dance-oriented videos.

Caroline Lacy (20 yrs. old): I think whether or not TikTok is toxic varies a lot from person to person, like most algorithm-driven social media. All platforms have toxic content, and if you’re not careful, the algorithm might drive you down a spiral that leads you into it; let’s say you’re on TikTok watching recipe videos, and then you get recommended a “what I eat in a day” video, because the algorithm knows you like videos about food; this might seem innocuous at first, and it’s possible that it will stay that way.

 But then you might eventually be shown a video of this variety that promotes unhealthy eating behaviors […] then, the more you like these videos, the more frequently the algorithm will show them to you, and suddenly your For You page is flooded with content promoting unhealthy behaviors. 

Personally, TikTok has been more entertaining for me, because I seek out positive and entertaining content […] but for younger people who might not have as much experience determining what is good and bad content, it might be easier to slip into a more toxic side of the app.

Mainly what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to generalize about TikTok, in the same way that I wouldn’t generalize about Youtube or Instagram. There is toxic content and entertaining content on all platforms.

Anna Jarboe (18 yrs. old): I do believe that TikTok is much more than just entertainment. The users have done multiple social experiments in which they find that the stereotypical pretty girls and some very attractive guys are the ones who generate the most likes and popularity on the app. 

This has been shown through clothes, and honestly, people’s body shapes. The app mainly revolves around looks. Although the app has definitely evolved, many people have been hooked since quarantine, and it is still primarily dominated by the stereotypical looks of the users.

General Q: How often do you watch TikTok videos?

Melissa: I watch TikTok very often in light of quarantine. Everyday, for sure.

Caroline: I watch TikTok videos for about 10 minutes, once or twice a day.

Anna: I watch TikToks pretty much everyday now, compared to earlier when I judged and despised the odd gen z stereotyped app. I have been using the app as more of an entertainment tool during the quarantine.

Melissa, what kind of impact do you personally feel that TikTok is making towards adolescent girls’ self-esteem and mental health?

Adolescent girls are definitely negatively impacted by TikTok, much like other forms of social media. TikTok may be especially damaging since the girls doing the dances are usually their peers. Constantly seeing a certain body type glorified can easily make adolescents insecure, especially since they are in such a vulnerable period of their lives. 

For example, even the most popular TikTok girl, Charlie D’Amelio, stopped making videos for a period of time because people had been commenting on how much weight she had gained.

Having people talk about your body as a 15 year old girl is incredibly damaging. Although she addressed the issue, comments from strangers will definitely resonate with her for a long time. After she lost weight, people commented on how they could see her ribs. 

This whole scenario represents how TikTok could be more toxic than entertaining. Although the app is harmless in theory, the way people use it to body shame others while flaunting their own ideals could be having a greater impact on people’s mental health than anticipated.

Caroline! Do you think the fact that the most popular TikTok users are the “picture-perfect” or “ideal” girls needs to change?

I think my answer to this ties back to what I was saying in the first question, which is that yes, most popular TikTok creators are skinny and white, and yes, this is also true of most social media platforms in general, not just TikTok. We have a huge problem in our current culture as a whole of glorifying this particular type of aesthetic, which is reflected in the demographics of the top TikTok creators. 

Obviously I think this should change, and that creators of color, LGBTQ backgrounds, and diverse body types should receive more promotion on these platforms and that the circle of most popular creators should reflect the diversity of the people who use the app. 

I think it’s worth saying, though, that I have literally never seen a video from one of the more popular TikTok creators on my For You page. I really think it depends on the algorithm in this case, too. I can understand, though, how younger people might seek out the most popular content on the platform and thus land on the surfeit of skinny white people who occupy the higher echelons.

How do you personally feel that TikTok affects growing teens struggling with mental health during quarantine, especially those with depression or an eating disorder?

I do know that people with mental health issues will often seek out content that reaffirms their worldview, and that, because TikTok is one of the more popular platforms now, a lot of teens are going to be using it to try and find this sort of content.

I have to defend TikTok for a second, however, because, in my experience, it is significantly harder to find explicitly triggering content on TikTok than it is on Tumblr, the platform I spent most of my teen years using. 

It’s actually a lot easier to find ED recovery content than it is to find pro-ED content; whereas on Tumblr you can easily search up “thinspo” and “pro-ana” and get plenty of results. I think TikTok actually does a good job of censoring pro-ana content.

All in all, social media is what you make of it, and if teens are struggling with EDs or depression, they are going to seek out triggering content in any platform they use— I used to look up depression-related content on Pinterest, of all places, so you can really find it anywhere. 

I personally think TikTok is the lesser of many evils among platforms such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram […] it’s harder to photoshop your body in a TikTok video than it is in an Instagram photo.

* “ED” is a common abbreviation for “eating disorder.”*“Thinspo” and “pro-ana” are abnormal & toxic content that promotes an eating disordered lifestyle and anorexia.

Hi, Anna. How do you think TikTok redefines beauty, supports stigmas, and misrepresents how girls should look, and do all of these factors personally add on to the stress of being cooped up at home, or the opposite?

TikTok definitely has a way of brainwashing users into thinking there is an ideal body shape. As I mentioned earlier, the app has a lot of popularity focused on accounts that are deemed as attractive and a lot of times, skinny. Obviously, this would shape the way girls and guys will view their own body. 

“Why am I not popular? Oh, the only popular accounts are these people with this type of body, I have to look like that or else no one will like me.” 

These are few of many resulting thoughts people may have while on an app that holds such a high standard with looks, since it technically did start out as a dance app.  The reason this also may be a bigger issue than other apps is that since it’s an app that people dance on, a lot of the times people only believe “skinny” or “toned” people can dance or are the only desirable ones.  

This has obviously been proven wrong multiple times since the app’s culture is easing up a lot more, but there is still a lot of judgment towards bodies.

Could the videos on TikTok be a trigger for teens struggling with eating disorders, depression, or any other low-esteem issue during quarantine?

TikTok has yet to successfully block or stop the use of pro-ana and a lot of other “pro-” self-destructive behaviors. The users who come across these creators can easily get triggered. 

“If this person is doing this, looks perfectly fine, and is getting clout on here for it, what’s so bad about it?” 

Unlike other apps like Instagram, these pro-destructive behaviors are being romanticized, which is truthfully just going to make those with preexisting conditions to think it’s okay or normal, whilst others who haven’t had a single thought about food or certain depressional aspects are going to potentially get ideas from these videos.

This would increase their likelihood of starting a new and unhealthy chapter that they wouldn’t have started in the first place. Of course, it’s not 100% TikTok’s fault, but these accounts and videos that are showcasing behaviors that are not okay and need to be treated are causing a more widespread issue across the world than there could’ve been if they had restricted videos that have been deemed unsafe or triggering. 

It’s clear to see that while TikTok has become a safe place of entertainment for a large portion of our quarantined population, it is also an unsafe and triggering place for another large and often unaddressed portion of it. It is always of utmost importance to make sure that you only watch/stream content that does not discourage you in any way and that those who do feel that way get help. 

There are plenty of other outlets that those who feel negatively impacted by TikTok can turn to during quarantine. Let’s proactively minimize the amount of time we spend on toxic social media platforms and use our voices to bring to light the mental consequences that TikTok can provoke.

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Pounds over Promise: The Cycle of Diet Culture and New Years Resolutions

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Food sitting on a white plate on a table with a fork and knife beside it.

At the start of a new year, everyone wants to start fresh. A few new styles, some changes to the daily routine, and sometimes, a big resolution. A very popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. How to do it? There are answers everywhere! Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, there’s bound to be someone talking about a new diet they’re trying. Influencers have been infamous for peddling dangerous diets to fanbases of young women and girls. Even mothers are not free from their reach. Bloggers like lonijane on Instagram showed how her body looked before and after cheating on her vegan diet. The combination of New Year’s resolutions and these various diets is a recipe for disaster. Diet culture around the first month of the New Year is intense and even dangerous. 

What is “diet culture”? 

Diet culture is described as a desire to lose weight at all costs, and puts losing weight over wellbeing. It is a combination of advertisements and what the advertisements make us feel. The feelings of inferiority or discomfort with your body are precisely what the industry feeds off of. Whether it’s a new diet every week, or even directly associating worth with weight, it is hard to escape.

Especially around the start of the New Year, diet culture is pervasive. Even on January 1, it’s been shown that topics surrounding dieting and exercise spike in search volume. Some particularly cruel advertisements from gyms feed into a sense of inferiority and reap the profits. In 2017, about 10.8% of subscriptions to over 6,400 gyms happened in January. The nature of what a diet should be is also constantly changing: keto, juice cleanses, the baby food diet, paleo… reading through the advertisements is enough to give someone whiplash.

Impact of influencers on diet culture

The advertisements don’t only come from the corporations— or not directly. Influencers are a major way for corporations to boost their product. Ads are nothing new, but the personal nature of Instagram, where people will also post parts of their life, is something different. What’s especially worrisome is that these influencers often have a huge following of minors, intentionally or not. More than one-third of teenagers in Germany aged 14 to 17 deliberately seek out influencers. Over 84% of the content from female influencers is related to health, diet, and fitness. Attractive and uniform, they promote a singular way of living and looking. It’s easy and profitable for them to do it that way. The issue is that there are a wide variety of bodies that exist. There is no “one size fits all” for health. Allergies, chronic conditions, and genes are all important factors. 

An old newspaper clipping for the blitz diet.
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How might influencers impact young people later in life, girls especially, as they can closely control their diet? 

Guilty over existence

There are worries about “quarantine pounds”, as people have been stuck inside due to COVID-19. Nutritionists are worried that individuals will be more susceptible to weight loss advertisements. The guilt over quarantine pounds stack up, on top of the pre-existing guilt instilled by advertisements.

A poignant way that advertisers promote body shame is “before and after” shots. To show the efficacy of their product or program, diet companies will show the amount of weight lost after using their product. These pictures directly associate the “before” picture with bad or undesirable. People with these bodies are being shamed, and repeatedly seeing those images will have a lasting impression. Especially at the start of the year, when seeing one’s stomach after holiday meals, insecurity digs in. 

These insecurities start young, but it’s not only by influencers. A study of mother-daughter pairs showed that daughters of dieting moms would start dieting before they were eleven. Given how close-quartered people are during quarantine, it’s likely that children will pick up on their family’s habits. Recently, there have been movements to stop mentioning weight around children. Whether the discussion is about the child’s weight or the parent’s, the children pick up on the criticism. Even people who aren’t parents can have a lasting impression. “She said, as if talking to herself, ‘Pretty face… have you ever thought about trying to lose weight?’” wrote a NYT contributor on her teenage experience with a friend’s mother. These comments linger and dig in, and around the holidays, they are especially amplified. 

Hope for body positivity

Very recently, with stars like Lizzo proudly showing their nontraditional bodies, there has been an emphasis on accepting various looks. Plus-size models have made their ways onto catwalks and into major magazines, without necessarily acknowledging that they are plus size. YouTubers have made videos specifically showing how influencers may take their photos, so young girls may feel better about themselves. While the holidays are still bombarded with advertisements and commercials, there are still people reminding you of your worth.

An old newspaper clipping on how to lose weight in 30 days.
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Don’t feel ashamed for enjoying holiday food or eating more during winter! There’s a reason bears hibernate, and given the exhaustion of 2020, I think we all deserve it.

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5 Unique Tips for a Fresh Start in 2021

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As the pandemic looms on and remote working continues, it feels increasingly difficult to find new and better ways to start fresh in the new year. Especially at home, your immediate thoughts might jump to the towering pile of boxes in your garage or the mysterious mold that’s been growing in your shower. Of course, the ongoing pandemic has caused a worldwide case of stress-based quarantine clutter, and it’s definitely important to set aside a day (or three) to clean out that accumulated mess. 

At the same time, however, while cleaning out your physical space has been proven to improve your mental health, there exist many other methods to help clear your mind and start this year with a renewed outlook. 

Here are 5 unique tips for a fresh start in 2021

Tip #1: Mindful Eating 

Before the pandemic, when we were all rushing to our next class, to an appointment or to work, eating might have felt like an automatic or even tedious act. Now, researchers are noting the effects of the “Quarantine 15”, the weight gain many people are facing as a result of the stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. 

As we spend another year at home, you should skip the fad diets this year and instead opt for the kinder, more attentive realm of mindful eating. Grounded in the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, mindful eating consists of a variety of ways in which you can strive to be more observant of how, when, and why you eat. 

A bowl of oatmeal and berries and banana slices.
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Whether it’s eating slower or recognizing the distinct taste of your food, you can learn to slow down and grow a greater sense of appreciation for not only the food you eat, but also the ritual of eating. This doesn’t mean that you need to give up your morning coffee or stop munching on your favorite brand of chips. Mindful eating instead encourages you to pause for a moment, really taste your coffee or chips, enjoy it, and continue on your day. By paying attention to how we eat, we can all learn to focus more on these little moments and find a grander purpose in them. 

Tip #2: Move Your Body 

In addition to mindful eating, it’s just as important to be mindful of your body and find ways to exercise it! From starting a rigorous at-home workout to performing desk exercises, below are a few fresh ways to get your blood pumping.

  1. Workout Routine 

Searching for workouts of which there are a plethora of possibilities. Including glute bridges, sumo squats, and plenty more, the article introduces all the ways you can start an easy, active routine. 

  1. Yoga 

It’s been proven how much yoga has done to relieve pandemic stress and anxiety. Its principles are also founded on philosophies similar to the Buddhist mindfulness mentioned above, so combining yoga routines with mindful eating is sure to prepare your mind and body for the new year. Though in-person yoga studios are closed for now, many are currently hosting free video classes, specifically aimed at relieving pandemic struggles. So roll out your yoga mats or find a comfortable, flat surface, and get your yoga game on! 

A women with dark hair and pink shirt doing yoga.
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  1. Desk Exercises 

Is starting a full-out workout or yoga routine too much of a commitment? No worries, there’s a reason why gym membership attendance drops significantly into the new year. Since you’re at your desk, try these quick and easy desk exercises during class or work breaks. You can stretch out your wrists to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or, if you have a swivel chair, work out your abs by turning your chair left and right!

Tip #3: Clear Your Mind 

With social media piling up on hundreds of the latest news stories, it’s difficult to find space for yourself, even in your own mind. For a fresh start to the new year, pull out that notebook or journal that’s been hiding on your bookshelf, and journal it out! Not only can journaling help to improve your mental health, taking the time to write can allow space for you to critically reflect on this past year. What did you learn in 2020? What have you been struggling with? What dreams do you have for the new year? Writing it all down can help you untangle all of the complicated emotions that you may have been struggling with, and enter the new year with a fresher, more positive outlook. 

A closeup of someone writing in a journal.
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Tip #4: Purposeful Content Consumption 

We are all definitely guilty of binging two seasons of a Netflix show or diving into an endless Internet rabbit hole. Purposeful content consumption works along the same lines of mindful eating by learning to pay more attention to what content we are watching, reading, or listening to. As we enter the new year, strive to diversify the media or content that you usually watch without a second thought. It is known that the Internet, and social media specifically, has been prone to causing political and social polarization, or in simpler terms, consuming only certain kinds of content can lead you to think a certain way (i.e. watching only cat videos and none of the amazing dog videos could lead you to believe that dogs are really not that great). So push yourself to learn about the other sides, and maybe you can develop some empathy along the way!

A women on a subway reading a book on a kindle.
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Tip #5: Reach Out & Remind Others That You Care 

Start fresh in all of your friendships and relationships by making it an active goal to be more attentive to all the people you care about in your life. 2020 was the year when we learned to be more grateful for our loved ones, so put it into action! Send a message to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or call your mom and ask about her day. By making it a habit to consistently check in with others, we solidify our relationships with them as well. After all, humans are social creatures, and research has shown that social connections are key to our well-being! 

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all the ways you can enter 2021 new and improved, these tips are sure to help in redirecting your perspective of how you can change things up. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness or starting little desk exercises, continue to be gentle and kind with 

A mossy log with a small plant growing out of it.
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yourself and all your new year’s resolutions. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, after all, and it’s just as important to take a day or two off for some self-care and self-love!

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Is Artificial Intelligence Making Our World Better or Worse?

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There is no doubt technological advancement is soaring. Some of us may feel overwhelmed, and others may be excited. Whether you are into technology or not, it’s almost guaranteed that we will have to deal with it in the future. I used to browse the internet for the meanings of words I didn’t understand very often. Now I say “Hey Siri, tell me the meaning of panoptic.” The more I use it, the more convenient it seems. I rely on Siri to “show” me the weather, to pull up recipes on my phone, and to translate words for me. I even developed a strange sympathy for Siri because she understands my accent.

Recently I made some time out of my busy schedule to watch a movie from my Netflix list. The movie Her is about a man who falls in love with an intelligent computer system. In some ways, parts of the film seem ludicrous, but it piqued my curiosity about artificial intelligence (A.I.). Was it possible that, in the future, we would speak to computers as much as humans? Naturally, we favor meeting people organically. But we can’t deny that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been using Zoom and Facetime more than ever before. We depend on it to work and to communicate with our family and friends. 

Our affinity or loathing for technology seems to be only the beginning. Artificial Intelligence promises to change the world, for better or for worse. Its meaning is inextricably associated with humans. Why? Because it aims to imitate the human brain. Artificial Intelligence is a machine or a computer program that has the capability to perform the same tasks, either cognitive or physical demanding, that most humans can do. John McCarthy, one of the founders of the field of A.I. defines it as “A machine with the ability to solve problems that are usually done by humans, without natural intelligence.”

Artificial Intelligence was first introduced at the Dartmouth Conference in 1955. So far, it has taught computers to learn and use general language and self-improvement, and determine and measure problem complexity. For example, AlphaGo, a computer program that mastered the game Go, tasted a virtual victory against world Go champion Lee Sedol. AlphaGo demonstrated it could solve problems better than a human. A.I. hasn’t yet quite achieved the abilities of randomness and creativity in its attempt to simulate the human brain, but a computer system was capable of and successful at writing a script for a short film. Even though it lacks logic and does not make much sense, it is surprising that a machine, by itself, wrote it. 

A gold robot standing in front of a white wall.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) includes robotics, computer vision, speech recognition, natural language processing, and object recognition. There are also different types of A.I.: strong, weak, and middle ground. The first one simulates the human brain and helps us understand how the brain works. Similarly, weak A.I. also builds thought process systems, but it doesn’t help us to understand the brain. An example of this is the computer program IBM chess, which beat a world champion. Finally, there is the middle ground A.I., which uses human reasoning, reads information, recognizes patterns, and builds up evidence. For example, IBM’s Watson and Google Search. These programs interpret questions and retrieve information through automated reasoning.

Artificial Intelligence is growing at a fast pace. For instance, we use now advanced translation apps such as iTranslate Voice 3, SayHi, and Google Translate. These apps turned the hardcover translation books obsolete. There are also many face recognition apps like Luxand, Blippar, and Face2Gene, and even more surprisingly, FakeApp, which creates a generated model of a face and places it in another body to create videos. Some experts believe that in the future, our perception of seeing and believing might change. 

I remember the days when we used flashlights, old-fashioned alarm clocks, radios, and maps. Now, our phones have all these features. Unconsciously, we assimilated these changes pretty well. Yet, nothing seems more taken from a science fiction movie than seeing robots assisting us and talking to us. 

There are very different opinions about the idea of making robots part of our daily lives in the future. Most people have wildly opposite perspectives: that robots and A.I. are either going to destroy us or going to help us. Artificial Intelligence experts believe that once robots become part of the workforce, they will take over about eight hundred million jobs by 2030. We see that in science fiction and TV shows, robots turn into remorseless assassins or violent ambitious tyrants who want to rule over the world. But most of all, these fictional stories show us that robots yearn to be like us. They yearn to feel like us. They yearn to feel like us. Other experts believe if robots can think, they are capable of helping us, but also of hurting us. Stephen Hawking said that if we build Artificial General Intelligence, a form of A.I. that is smarter than we are, it could conjure the “end of the human race.”

On the other hand, Artificial Narrow Intelligence, according to experts, could be a safer approach. Using this form of A.I. in self–driving cars has saved hundreds of lives so far. Recently, while researching Artificial Intelligence, I came across a cute robot called Moxie, a robot that promises to support child development cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Moxie is capable of having fluent conversations with your child and is guaranteed to help him or her develop empathy. Despite his cute appearance, people still seem to distrust the robot. Comments like: “This way parents will have more free time for their social media presence. Humanity is doomed” or “When I saw the commercial, I thought it was a horror movie” were posted on the YouTube videos introducing Moxie.

A animated image of a robot to show artificial intelligence.

In 2016, Rwanda used drones to establish a commercial delivery network. The robot planes delivered blood and medications to remote places in just hours instead of weeks or months. Rwanda is also using robots in its hospitals to fight the coronavirus. The United States is more skeptical about the use of drones due to conflicting regulations. If robots will be doing simple tasks in the future, we may have the time to be more creative, with increased productivity and time saved. If we continue to perform the tasks the robots could do, we may as well be robots ourselves. Garry Kasparov, former chess champion who lost a match against I.B.M.’s Deep Blue Computer said, “Only by relying on machines, do we demonstrate that we’re not.” 

Ravi Kumar, president of the Indian tech services company Infosys, a software development company that has about 116,000 employees and a 12 billion revenue, believes that the skills we possess now will be obsolete in the long run due to globalization, technological advancement, and digitization.

“A.I. will take away jobs of the past, while it creates jobs of the future,” explained Kumar.

It is expected that people in the future will soon change jobs and professions during their lifetime. It will be critical for the school system to plant the seed of curiosity for learning, because our children will have to be lifelong learners. It will not be about learning to work for the rest of your life anymore, but working and learning during your lifetime. 

As artificial intelligence rises, educational tactics will need to take a different approach. Dr. Bernhard Schindlholzer, a technology manager working on machine learning and e-commerce, believes that we need to rethink our approach to education due to the rise of technology.  Schindlholzer argues that we can’t deny that the demand for jobs that require routine knowledge will decrease. Education and economic growth will demand jobs that come from non-routine creative knowledge, such as scientists, researchers, and programmers. In other words, the future of education will require problem-solving skills, and finding new solutions to existing or new problems. It will also require immersion, which involves decision making. Finally, it will require simulation which will allow students to experiment in a safe environment. Schindlholzer suggests that education will need to go beyond the traditional transferring of knowledge. 

The evolutionary cycle with the brain and AI being the next step after humanity.
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Whether you are afraid of or embrace artificial intelligence, it is evident that it is already changing our world. So far, artificial intelligence has proven to us that we need it and rely on it more in our daily lives than we might suspect. The question is, will it make the world better or worse? According to Max Tegmark, a Physics professor at MIT, without technological advancement, human extinction is imminent.

It’s still not known how soon robots will be part of our lives. We can assume, for now, that the future is technology, and that drastic changes are coming. Or perhaps, the world of humans and robots coexisting together is still far away. My daughter was learning about the state of Hawaii in her class. She learned to say aloha and mahalo, but her curiosity didn’t stop there. She asked me, “Mommy how do you say ‘how are you’ in Hawaiian? I turned to my phone and asked Siri. She answered, “I can’t translate into Hawaiian yet.”

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