Why Education of Arts is next essence to Humanity
by Louis K Wang
In the fourth industrial revolution, human beings have to fully exploit this potential from art world. In the era of AI and machine learning, human values, such as common sense and compassion, will be scarce. A study found that young people’s empathy has become lower than ever before. American College Students’ empathy has declined by 48% and their ability to understand others’ views has declined by 34%.
Our mind is something that computers can’t emulate. We should be glad that it enables us to surpass the most intelligent machine. Although the future may continue to require many people who can serve the construction of the digital world, the final pride will be those who can combine technology and mind.
From blade runner to matrix, Hollywood predicted the rise of machines on the big screen. Intelligent machines will be able to serve us for three meals or driving. They can scan to understand the state of human mind. But now the fact has gradually jumped out of science fiction. Automation machinery has gone beyond the factory assembly line, because computers can diagnose diseases, provide legal counsel, and make financial and policy decisions. So, if artificial intelligence is really faster, smarter, and more reliable, what’s the use of our people staying?
The answer is precisely the factor that makes us inefficient, that is, the human mind. However, it should not be regarded as a weakness, but as the strongest armor of human beings. This is the human trait that should be strengthened, because according to research, as the world becomes more and more automated, computerized and digital, we are losing the trait that can be defined as human, in this century that needs it most!
The numbers show that when our ability to interact with other people can make us different from computers, we willfully shrink the spiritual world. It can be simply said that it stops the communication of human nature. From the daily life of advertising messages, virtual characters, dialogue routines, are just the result of mass production.
About 87% admitted that they couldn’t keep up with people because they were often distracted by mobile phones. Ironically, in a more and more connected world, our past simple life as a person, with a family chat and a social gathering, is becoming more and more remote. Gallup poll shows that families eat less and less together, while 51% of teenagers prefer to communicate through mobile phones rather than face-to-face chat. And 43% of men aged 18-24 said texting was just as meaningful as talking to their girlfriend through a mobile phone.
So when human beings should improve their spiritual quality and become more spiritual, in fact, human souls are sinking. We have become insensitive, which is a major issue to be solved. MIT is one of the few institutions that understand the importance of students’ emotional intelligence and their technical skills. Undergraduates who are about to become the world’s top technical experts can take part in a long-term “charm course” of tongue movement. In face-to-face workshop learning, they can learn how to chat with people, face-to-face face interview with eye contact, and how to deal with bad information.
MIT has entered a very valuable future exploration, realizing the need to fill this critical gap in student education. But when young people go to higher education, it may be too late. In the whole education system, human beings need to establish empathy experience, create a co construction environment, and attach importance to the added value that was labeled as “soft” in the past.
In many ways, this is a historical issue. Our education system is still rooted in the values of the industrial age. The so-called 3Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic, many examinations and learning objectives are to prepare students for future factory and paperwork, focusing on so-called “hard” skills, sacrificing creativity, imagination or emotional processing intelligence. Although the education system enriches the soul through foreign languages, literature and art, it is not regarded as a crucial course. Without the development of flexible thinking, imagination (related to empathy), creativity and appreciation, many national courses are teaching the past rather than how to face the fast changing and unknown future.
Mind related learning must be the core value of our family, school and workplace. It needs to be embedded at all levels of society. This is not an easy task. This is not nutrition credits, but the survival skills of human beings in the future, because it will be better applied if the crucial technology is handed over to people with emotional and cultural level. In order to provide a future generation with a high level of spiritual literacy, we need to institutionalize the spiritual cultivation and systematize it so that it becomes a part of the basis of our work and school learning. This is the development of education based on spiritual quotient after IQ and EQ, and art appreciation is the starting point of entry.
MIT is not the only teaching institution that has awakened: SAP now has a “compassion” program for their sales team, Facebook has an empathy lab, J & J has a new business direction, and compassion is its core. Professor Wang Louie also founded an international school in Beijing to explore the growth of smart business through art education. From these initiatives, it is recognized that fundamental changes are taking place in society and that