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The flexibility of an octopus, the speed of a hummingbird, the strength of an elephant

Francisco Miraval

I was recently invited to attend an event where several “experts” spoke about different ways to train leaders in often marginalized and frequently forgotten communities. As I expected, nobody from those communities was invited to attend the event.

Then, at the time of questions and answers, I decided to ask the “experts” how they were planning to connect those groups and themselves with future opportunities in the context of a future which is no longer a continuation from the past.

In other words, what’s the point of helping people to get a job if we already know that job will soon disappear due to new technologies? It will be better to help people to get a job AND to prepare themselves for future job opportunities in jobs that today don’t even exist.

Also, what’s the point, for example, of teaching financial literacy in the traditional way when the laws and rules regulating finances change almost every other day and when new technologies have transformed and will transform both finances and economy?

Sometimes I feel that because only know the past, we want to “force” others to connect only with the past, instead of creating a safe space for them to connect with the best possible version of themselves in the future so they can bring that version into the present.

And while we are still organizing “leadership classes”, intelligent robots, such as Sophia, want to have children. In fact, metallic robots are already obsolete. Thanks to recent advances in science and technology, it is possible to create at a very low cost artificial muscles to be used in a new generation of humanoid robots, or androids, such as Sophia’s children.

According to a recent report by the University of Colorado in Bouler, those robots will have the flexibility of the arms of an octopus, the speed of the wings of a hummingbird, and the strength of an elephant. And, I add, they will be guided by artificial intelligence created by artificial intelligence.

What’s the meaning of all that for us? It means the future is already here and we didn’t notice it because we absorbed by the past. It also means that we, the “experts”, are going to be excluded from the future. Soon we will be the marginalized, the forgotten, even if we can’t see it or understand it as of now.

It seems to me we are hypnotized people living inside dense fog. Even if we could recover the control of our own minds and, therefore, we could start thinking about what is real and what is not, we will not see clearly as long as we remain inside the dense fog around us.

I am not saying there is no hope or that everything is lost. There are good indications that we are entering a new time in human history, a time that will force us, perhaps for the first time in history, to rethink our humanness as we never did it before. That’s where hope lives. 

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