Peace's blog: Seedless grapes and Artificial Intelligence

It's December! 'Tis the season to be merry. The glow of fairy lights and baubles create a festive atmosphere that is inescapable. At this time every year, the world takes a magic glow, people seem merrier, and we all look forward to the Christmas lunch. As the festivities begin, let me share some food for thought from a recent story with you.

A few weeks ago, I noticed the grapes bought for the week were still in the fridge, barely touched. Usually the grapes would only last a couple of days. When I decided to help myself to some, my daughter exclaimed – “mummy don't eat that, it's gone off, something is wrong with them!.” When I asked why she thought that, the reply was an eye opener. “There are seeds in them, because they have gone off. Grapes don’t normally have seeds.” At this point it dawned on me that for the last 10 years or so, with the increasing availability of seedless fruits, it seems I’ve only ever bought seedless grapes. On this occasion, it appears that somehow through online grocery shopping, I’d mistakenly ordered seeded grapes.

However, somewhat worrying for hubby and I, was that we were raising a generation of ‘seedless grapes’ children, who may be missing out on gaining a balanced perspective. Although, knowing that grapes can be seeded or seedless – is hardly ground breaking.

From quick research, I learnt that in most grocery stores today the only type of grapes you can buy are seedless, due to evolution and enhancement across all grapevines in production.

Following my research, I wondered if there’s a missed opportunity for our children, from understanding certain things from first principles about how things have evolved overtime. For example, what do we consider to be normal today that will look ‘off’ to children in the future? With the increasing technological disruption through Artificial Intelligence and robotics - with driverless cars imminent on our streets - I wonder if one day, seeing someone driving behind the wheel of a car will look off? More critically, as parents how do we ensure our children (and ourselves) will be prepared for a future that will operate very differently to what we understand to be the normal modus operandi today. Although rhetorical, it is a question that cannot be answered in one blog post. Nonetheless, it provides an interesting food for thought, to perhaps add to the Christmas dinner menu, at a time where as much food will be consumed as would also be wasted.

On that note, let me take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Peace is a proud working mother with a hands on and supportive husband also in the city, together they have "almost achieved" a work-life-work balance with their children all under 9 years old. She has worked in the City for 14 years full time, mostly in investment banking, recently as Head of Operational Risk for a leading Insurer, and now as a Senior Manager in Risk for a leading Investment management firm. 

 

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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