How much can we afford to forget, if we train machines to remember?

This is a really interesting essay on how civilizations evolve through strategic forgetting of once-vital life skills. For example, when societies industrialized, reading and writing became really important, while the knowledge of ploughing and harvesting could fall by the wayside. It's happening again right now, this time with our memories.

Instead of looking at what we’re learning, perhaps we should consider the obverse: what becomes safe to forget? In 2018, Science magazine asked dozens of young scientists what schools should be teaching the next generation. Many said that we should reduce the time spent on memorizing facts, and give more space for more creative pursuits. As the internet grows ever more powerful and comprehensive, why bother to remember and retain information? If students can access the world’s knowledge on a smartphone, why should they be required to carry so much of it around in their heads?


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