Humanity 4.0 for Education, Technology & Society
January 29, 2020
11:00 – 13:00 IST
Hotel Taj President, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai
Dr Subra Suresh began his lecture with an anecdotal timeline of the first two industrial revolutions. This set the stage for the Fourth IR – the focal point of his lecture. He described it as the “unprecedented convergence of physical, digital and biological world”. Furthermore, he emphasised how the adoption of technology is much faster than ever before and posed a number of questions that the world faces today with the increasing prevalence of AI & ML.
He posited that while every new advancement causes speculation, the contours of humanity have never before been challenged by technology. A significant part of the lecture was devoted to the humanitarian side of AI, its understanding in society and the ability of governments to react. With AI playing a more active role in decision making, Dr. Suresh questioned its relationship with subjective human perceptions and its role in influencing biases.
The fourth IR’s impact on jobs was also discussed. Dr Suresh propounded that Universities will have to impart relevant knowledge that meets the requirements of a dynamic world for the next 50 years. This can include courses on digital and information literacy, alternate models of pedagogy and learning and the willingness to go beyond disciplines.
Dr. Subra Suresh
President - Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
Professor Subra Suresh is the president of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Before his tenure at NTU, Professor Suresh was president of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Director of the US National Science Foundation (appointed by the then President Barrack Obama) as well as the Dean of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
His four year leadership tenure at CMU was marked by a 55% increase in the universities total endowment fund. Furthermore, as Director of the Science Foundation, Professor Suresh managed a budget of US$7 billion for more than 2000 science and engineering institutions. His brainchild – the NSF Innovation Corps – aimed to translate research discoveries into industrial practice and has since been replicated by a number of government organisations. He also led the formation of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) which was established in 2007 as the first centre in Singapore’s international research campus and innovation hub.
Professor Suresh holds the distinction of being the only university president elected to all three US national academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He is an elected member of 15 science and/or engineering academies based in the US, China, France, India, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Spain. He has 18 honorary doctorates from universities around the world.
Professor Suresh completed his undergraduate studies from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras and his masters from Iowa State University. He then proceeded to complete his doctorate in mechanical engineering from MIT in just two years.