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How can we talk with our children in the age of Sophia and space children?

A man I never met in person recently called and asked me for advice about how to improve his communication with his own two teenagers, explaining the communication problems began two years ago when the family moved to the United States.

Obviously, communicating with teenagers is a challenge almost anywhere in the world. Also, those challenges reach a new level when, in addition to the well-know generational gap, you add other factors, such as parents and children speaking different languages and having significant differences regarding technology, education, culture, and even religion.

In that context, in many cases, the only connection between parents and their own children is the biological connection, and not much more beyond that. The speed of social, cultural, and technological change has expanded the generational gap to the proportions of a generational abyss.

Of course, I didn’t mention anything like that to the person who called me. Also, it is unwise to mention certain topics over the phone. Hopefully, we will soon meet and talk face to face. In the meantime, I carefully listened to what he had to say.

Basically, he was not really asking for my advice (good thing, because I have none to offer), but he wanted to know, even if he didn’t say it explicitly, if there was a way to stop time and to go back to the past to a time when was able to control his relationship with his children.

I am sorry, my friend. That’s not possible. And if you think you are having now a hard time communicating with your children, wait just a few more years, just a few years, and you will see how difficult that communication will be.

We live at a time of fast, deep, disruptive, and irreversible changes. For that reason, different generations literally live in different worlds. And, furthermore, we are creating even more of those “different worlds”.

For example, Sophia, the first AI robot to become citizen of a country (Saudi Arabia), recently became the first AI robot to receive an official visit to enter a country, when she visited Azerbaijan to participate in a UN conference about public services and bureaucracy.

Sophia, created by Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong, spoke with public officials and reporters, thanking them for seeing AI as “a positive force for humanity, and not as a threat”. 

Sophia is gaining recognition as a person and, at the same time, the idea of having children in space (literally) is also gaining recognition. According to SpaceLife Origin, a company in the Netherlands, the first generation of “space humans” will soon (2024) be born in space, using embryonic incubators inside space stations orbiting earth.

So, how are you planning to communicate with your children when they will be interacting every day with AI robots like Sophia, but many times more intelligent than her, and with humans born in space, but not on this planet?

Do you really want to connect with your children? First, connect yourself with their future.

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