No More Reading or Thinking: Where Will Information Come from in the Future? | The Gateway Pundit


Vladimir Lenin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

There is a worrying trend of young people not reading anymore and not engaging in independent thinking when it comes to writing papers or formulating opinions. Only 17% of young people read for fun.

Two-thirds of young adults listen to podcasts, which in and of itself is not a problem. However, by listening to podcasts, they are getting their information and opinions fed to them in audio form from people they like, rather than reading reports from experts.

Statistics show that videos receive 1,200 times as many reshares as texts and pictures, suggesting that video is becoming the preferred way of obtaining information.

Videos, like podcasts, can be created by anyone, regardless of their expertise, and will be reshared for various reasons apart from their information content or quality. They also must exist on video and podcast platforms, which have strict censorship rules and will be pulled if they violate “community standards,” which tend to be very left-leaning.

For example, Twitter removed tweets that referred to Hamas as terrorists, although Hamas has officially been designated a terrorist organization.

Beyond censorship, another problem with videos is that people are not really watching them. The average time spent on a video before scrolling is about 2.5%. So, while young people may prefer to obtain information from videos, they are actually obtaining almost no information.

Only 7% of young people say they read a newspaper several times per week, while 45% said they never read a newspaper. In the past, students read and researched to obtain knowledge.

They then wrote papers where they synthesized this knowledge and formulated opinions and conclusions based on data and information. Now, no one is reading. No new information is coming in. Additionally, 56% of college students and 46% of high school students are using AI to write their papers.

When we transitioned from using books and periodicals to using search engines for research, there were some disadvantages and some advantages. When doing Google searches and finding sources, people tend to skim and scan, rather than sitting down and reading an entire book or source and taking notes as students did in the past.

Research shows that over 40% of people who open an article on the web will not read beyond the nut graph, the first paragraph, usually only one to two sentences that explain the context of the story.

On the other hand, no school ever had a library of books or access to periodicals on the scale that students do today, with the internet. So, for those who actually read, there is greater availability of information today. However, fewer and fewer people are using that information.

Even worse, although the information is available and free, people are less likely to find it, as we move to AI. When you use a traditional search engine, you type in a subject or keywords and see that lots of choices come up.

So, you read through them, albeit superficially, until you find the ones you want to use. Even the laziest of readers will be exposed to multiple sources and points of view. But now, already, 40% of millennials and nearly 30% of the population are switching from traditional search engines to AI-powered searches.

AI search engines and chatbots have safety protocols to protect people from harmful or misinformation, including hate speech. And, as we have seen in our society, hate speech is an ill-defined term that can apply to almost anything people do not like.

The protocols also protect us from misleading or biased information, which raises questions about who decides what is and is not misinformation. It also suggests that for certain questions, there is only one viewpoint.

Eventually, in the not-too-distant future, we will reach a point where there is one accepted viewpoint, and because all others are misinformation, they will be excluded from searches.

With young people growing up in a world where they do not read, do not actually watch a video, do not write their own papers, and are only exposed to a single “correct” opinion, how will they develop critical-thinking skills, and how will they analyze complex issues or formulate nuanced opinions?

Given that the entire generation is growing up without knowledge and critical thinking skills, you may wonder where the next generation of videos and articles will come from.

The answer is, they will be generated by AI, cutting out the human middleman. AI will create content, then direct humans to the content, and it will be the sole source of information and opinion.

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