What kind of skills do you have that you are proud of? Or are there skills that you wish you’d learnt which you haven’t had the chance to yet? It’s never too late! Will Knight, the senior editor at MIT Technology Review comes on the show to talk with ShaoLan about skills. In particular, he discusses the importance of our ability as humans to continually learn new skills. In fact, he even suggests that learning from, and collaborating with smart machines is going to be a key to the future of all of our working lives. He gives the example of a computer called “Alpha Go” which was better than any human at a game called GO, but through the process of beating the human players, the humans were able to learn new things about the game and find new ways to beat the machine again. ShaoLan teaches the Chinese words for “skill” in both a technological and artistic sense!
The way to say “skill” in Chinese is 技能. The first word, 技 means “ability” or “trick” while the second word 能 means “ability” as well. Interestingly, the character is made up of part of the character for bear, because in ancient China the bear was seen as representing “ability”! Together, they make up the word for “skill” or “ability” 技能.