In September, the President of Macedonia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, graced Wayne State University as the first world leader to visit the campus. I had the opportunity of sitting up close and even got a handshake after. This was an eye-opening experience that showed attendees the real problems facing future generations. Here are the five most important tips from his visit.
- 1. Do not blindly trust Google.
President Ivanov had a strong message for millennials; blindly following something without verification is what makes religion. Atheist millennials questioned their parent’s relationships to god for the same reason they blindly follow Google. Google can be seamlessly linked between many services, which seems helpful, but users do not realize just how much personal privacy they are giving up. This disregard for facts is leading millennials and generation alpha into digital religion; in which google is god.
2. Digital super intelligence is very dangerous.
The power of technology is good, but how good is too good? The pairing of artificial intelligence with loose security for personal data is a nightmare. At what point does the digitalization of jobs turn us into servants for AI bosses? Super computers have already learned how to teach themselves new tasks at a rate 3000 times faster than humans. According to President Ivanov this can be detrimental to humans if we create something that teaches itself how to keep us from pulling the plug.
3. Do not replace investments with share-services.
Why buy a car when you can Uber? Why buy a bicycle when you can rent one? While it might save money at first, these types of services are causing younger people to skip investing on tangible items. No longer are the days of trading up cars or even buying your own bike. President Ivanov reiterated that millennials are not realizing that they are sometimes spending triple over time, compared to financing a used car or buying a used bicycle.
4. Generation alpha and the need to disconnect.
The most connected generation is also the loneliest. Do we see the problem with that? It’s looking more likely that what is connecting us 24/7 is killing the youth’s sense of what a personal connection is. Maybe China’s restriction to Facebook wasn’t as communist as we all thought. President Ivanov even brings up that we ban drugs because they cause people to ostracize themselves and create mental health problems. Do we need to investigate how connected we can get and how to make users more responsible?
5. Sacrificing is the key to success.
The key to success is the motivation to not lose everything. To get that motivation, we need to take the chance of losing it all. Whether that is personal time, money or even sanity. Humans are driven by sacrifice. It is imperative that we don’t let people get in the mindset that sacrifice isn’t necessary to succeed. Do not wait for a handout and risk it all if you must.