Former Czech PM stresses education for rational tech use

By Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 9, 2019
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Jan Fischer, former prime minister of the Czech Republic, speaks in an interview with on the sidelines of the third Taihe Civilizations Forum in Beijing, Sept. 7, 2019. [Photo by Ma Chao/]

As new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things penetrate into and disrupt almost every facet of human life, Jan Fischer, former prime minister of the Czech Republic, stressed the importance of education in the rational use of those technologies.

Speaking in an interview with on Saturday, Fischer said while driving economic growth and improving people's well-being, advanced technologies also pose risks to privacy security, crime control, etc.

Everyone needs to be educated about not only how to adopt new technologies for advantages but also how to view and curb their negative consequences, he said.

Fischer, who served as the head of the Czech government from 2009 to 2010, was in Beijing to attend the Session on Disruptive Technologies of the third Taihe Civilizations Forum.

A written introduction to the session pointed out that different from past technological transformations, which were largely aimed at substituting and rationalizing physical labor, today's digital transformation directly competes with what has kept humankind distinct from technology, i.e. human faculties of intelligence, expression, and decision making.

"The digital revolution will not only augment and increasingly replace human cognition, but also blur the boundaries between the organic and inorganic worlds, potentially rendering the former as a set of complex algorithms that can be optimized and connected with the latter," said the document.

Fischer said education is a top priority in terms of preparing for the uncertainties caused by emerging technologies. "To be educated doesn't mean just attending schools. Education is a lifelong issue now."

He was optimistic that with effective international cooperation on both political and social levels, the positive impacts of advanced technologies will outweigh the negative ones.

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