By Martin Padulla* for staffingamericalatina
If you are reading this, perhaps at some point you are thinking along similar lines. You probably feel that some of what follows is aligned with your critical thinking. Is it really critical?
We live in very difficult days. Our region is experiencing feelings of impotence and generalized anguish, in some countries that are the exception the level of uncertainty is lower, in most of them populisms do not seem to be engaged in designing desirable futures. The context is serious: the region, with less than 10% of the world’s population, accounts for almost one third of the deaths recorded in pandemics. One hundred million children in the region continue to study totally or partially at a distance and this causes alarming dropout rates. In Mexico, 1.8 million children did not return to school this year. In Brazil, almost 5 million children did not have access to education during the pandemic. These sensations resonate even more strongly when exemplarity does not appear from States that in some cases are bankrupt and inefficient.
In general terms, Latin America’s agenda looks backwards, towards a World that no longer exists. With empty statements about obsolete concepts, it seems incapable of seeing the diverse ways that exist today to acquire knowledge and skills and the diverse forms of work ignored by rigid and obsolete regulatory frameworks.
Problems arise when there are contradictions or inconsistencies. Ours are of colossal magnitude. Neither a good business climate nor relevant talent. It is difficult to open the doors of the 21st century in this way. Opportunities are the size of our contradictions.
It is essential to ask ourselves what is the predominant narrative in the region today.
An algorithm is essentially nothing more than a sequence of logical steps to solve a problem. In the 21st century, many routine tasks are based on the use of algorithms. We live leaving “digital footprints” that say a lot about our behaviors and lifestyles.
Artificial intelligence made irreversible the digital revolution that is changing the World exponentially, it allowed the algorithm to learn by itself in real time with the use of its own mistakes. Are we learning from our mistakes as societies?
Every day, polarized groups confirm their own beliefs and ignore arguments that refute them. Closed communities of hegemonic thinking are unable to communicate, to reach consensus. This binary logic is incapable of transformation.
Individuals trust algorithms more than society, much more algorithms than politics, and much, much more algorithms than politicians. Politicians know it. And they bet on them. On algorithms, of course.
We are left without a powerful narrative. In many countries of the region we had that narrative for a while, that conflict between the old ethics and the new ethics shaped by highly revolutionary ideals, progressive in earnest. We have not been able to generate one for this century. We fell into the trap, the critical spirit and creativity as humanistic virtues are the ones that allow us to ask questions, to question, to navigate in uncertainty. An incredibly active entrepreneurial ecosystem of global citizens born in the region is pushing the status quo.
Algorithms have an interesting feature, they always work well for those who design them. Who are those who oppose transformative creativity and disruption, the power that gives freedom to grow and entrepreneurship?
When very few new voices are heard in the debate or in the social dialogue, the following questions arise: are they always the same because there is no renewal or there is no renewal because privileged conservatives are in charge of neutralizing it? Is it not time to design an algorithm for the region that really transforms us and is capable of transcending (us)?
We are in an emergency. The Latin American algorithm with basic points to solve the problem is a matter of necessity and urgency.