The future is in tech, which is why every country is racing to get ahead with STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) capabilities. From STEM education to applications and its implications for the future, we explore how STEM affects and will continue to affect our lives well into the future.
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The gender divide in STEM
When it comes to STEM education as well as representation in STEM-related jobs, women are far underrepresented in many countries, as we can see from the latest available stats on women in STEM in Singapore (IBC). Since its inception, only four women have won the Nobel Prize in Physics, representing 6.9% of total winners (p6). However, there seems to be hope: girls and women in countries that are traditionally known for gender inequality – like Iran – are bucking the trend (p.10).
Tech lends a helping hand
Technology was always meant to help humans, from doing household chores to helping us move around and more. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing some tech gadgets that are coming onto the scene in the battlefield against Covid-19, with high-tech masks, sanitisers, and more (p2). Tech also plays a vital role in assisting the disabled or elderly, with inventions that are increasingly becoming intuitive (p.9).
State of education
Many countries are putting the emphasis on STEM in education, and we explore how Singapore is slowly integrating this into the curriculum (p.8). However, we must remember that while hard STEM is the way of the future, we can’t ignore the importance of arts and humanities to imbue a sense of responsibility and intuitive design into the technology of the future (p.12).
Tech x Entertainment
We’re all so used to technology being an important element in the entertainment we consume. And nobody knows how important that element is than the Koreans – we watch K-drama on streaming sites and attend virtual concerts – who are spreading the Hallyu Wave even in the midst of a global pandemic (p.13). It’s also thanks to technology that we have new kinds of “entertainers” we know today – Youtube, TikTok, and Twitch are just some of the ways anyone can become internet celebrities (p.7).
However, it’s precisely because technology is so widespread and easy to use that it’s no surprise some people are using it not just for indulging in adult entertainment, but also creating a whole new type of cybercrime (p16).
Future of technology
With the speed of technological development, do you ever wonder what our future would look like? Many people – including technologists like Elon Musk – argue that a future with AI would be catastrophic, and if movies like The Terminator is any gauge, are we doomed? We tackle 3 plausible scenarios of AI in the future (p.4).
Another version of the future of humanity is one with Mind Upload – it’s also been put forth in many sci-fi fiction. Will humanity survive the future this way, or is it all just a bad idea? Using sci-fi as our examples, we explore how they can be used (p.14). Then again, the real future may be very different, and not everything foretold will come true. We also explore how some tech “prophecies” from the past haven’t come true (p.3) or how they’re completely irrelevant in this day and age.
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