Cynthia has received the link to take Nestoil’s aptitude test. Before now, she had attempted the aptitude tests of five different companies – online and offline. This is the third year since she graduated, and she’s yet to get a job. Is she one of the unemployable graduates?
The Times We Live In
A United Nations’ report stated that low-wage workers in developing countries – this includes Nigeria – will be the most-affected by advanced robots in the workplace. And frightening headlines such as: ‘Robots are coming for our jobs’ and ‘Robots taking human jobs is causing a “hellish dystopia”’ are pervading the media.
But it’s not all doom, there are pockets of positives. Arguably, technology has improved workers’ productivity. A Deloitte study of automation in the UK found that as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) and other automation technologies 3.5 million new jobs were created, and paid more than the 800,000 low-skilled jobs that were lost to AI and automation.
This two-sided situation has sentenced generation Y and generation Z into uncertainty. Coupled with the towering unemployment rate in Nigeria, the future seems bleak, and the nation is unprepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Beyond work, AI and other automation technologies are also altering the transportation system. Electric car is no longer news; Hyperloop and flying cars are the emerging technologies. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is vigorously pursuing boring; he wants to construct underground road networks. In addition to this, the proposed Google Assistant update, ‘Duplex’, is terrifying, faute de mieux. And Chatbot has permeated our communication, especially on social networks.
Indubitably, AI and automation are not mere buzzwords in the tech space; they are the underlining technology driving recent innovations. Therefore, we, humans, must live intelligently, too.
To live in the 21st century is to live intelligently.
Intelligence: IQ or Emotional Quotient?
Human intelligence is largely assessed by intelligence quotient (IQ). Intelligence quotient being the conscious intellectual capability of a person; the aptitude of a person that enables them to think, understand and analyse logical and speculative problems. IQ is an assessment of mental capability through which persons of same age group can be compared with one another.
The first IQ test was developed by the French psychologist, Alfred Binet, in 1904. He used it to identify students that needed educational assistance. The intendment was to change the educational environment in order to serve students’ needs.
In the early 20th century, however, Binet test was introduced in America as Stanford-Binet test, and it was used as a way of ranking people in general rather than for specific educational purposes. It was treated as measuring ‘intelligence’; and introduced appellations such as ‘idiot’, ‘imbecile’, and ‘moron’ for those that score low and ‘genius’ for those that score high. This error was widely accepted and thus become the contemporary use and understanding of IQ or aptitude test.
Again, in 1990, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term ‘emotional intelligence’. They described it as “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” Upon his encounter with their work, Daniel Goleman wrote his bestseller, ‘Emotional Intelligence’, and EI gained popularity.
How does this concern me?
Considering the arguments for and against these two concepts – IQ and EI – vis-à-vis a person’s success, and the proliferation of AI and automation technologies, indubitably, humans would have to become humane to live in the 21st century.
While AI could outsmart humans in the elements of IQ tests – verbal skills, reasoning skills, math and memory, and spatial skills, humans have an edge in social awareness and social skills.
Also, there are nine types of human intelligence as postulated by the American psychologist, Howard Gardener, in his 1983, Theory of Multiple Intelligences. These are: Logical-Mathematical Intelligence; Linguistic Intelligence; Visual-Spatial Intelligence; Naturalist Intelligence; Musical Intelligence; Existential Intelligence; Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence; Interpersonal Intelligence (now popularly known as Emotional Intelligence); and Intrapersonal Intelligence.
And every human has each of these intelligences, though at varying degrees. Our task, therefore, is to explore these intelligences to maximise our dominant intelligence. Every man is intelligent. And Smart.
Living in the 21st century is not a matter of ‘this’ or ‘that’ rather, it is ‘this’ and ‘that’.