by Arnulfo Azcarraga
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) will lead to challenging scenarios for the Philippines in the coming decade or so. Not only will the manufacturing and service sectors be disrupted, but with mainstreamed AI, society at large will be affected; and this has far-reaching consequences. The way children learn, and even adults, will be very different. This is essentially driven by the fact that knowledge is now freely available on the Web, and that learners have learned to extensively use technology to collaborate, and learn together. Furthermore, scary as it may sound, intelligent digital tutors will at some point be viable replacements of the teacher (and the book) in schools and homes. At the same time, at a very different level, society would be turning to education and continuous training to look for suitable responses to FIRe’s major implications on the prospects for employment in the coming years. Schools, as early as in junior high school, may need to be re-structured, and their programmes re-oriented to better prepare students for a future that is predictably fast-changing, highly innovative, and creative; with data and knowledge as its lifeblood, and technology as its spine.