President Armen Sarkissian deliverd a lecture at the HIT Holon Institute of Technology: “I believe that in a sense we are entering a period of a new Renaissance”
In the framework of his working visit to the State of Israel, President Armen Sarkissian visited today one of Isreal’s leading educational establishmen the HIT Holon Institute of Technology.
President Sarkissian met with the leadership of the Institute and laterd delivered a lecture titled “Geopolitical realities in the era of artificial intelligence.”
The President of the Institute Eduard Yakubov noted that it was a great honor to host the President of Armenia and said in particular, “The history of the Armenian and Jewish peoples has many tragic pages. We remember and mourn the death of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. We will always remember tragic pages of the history.
We highly value your visit to Israel, to commemorate along with 41 other heads of state the 75th anniversary of liberation of Aushwitz-Birkeau.
Armenia has chosen the course of modernization and democracy. It is well-known that education and science have a prominent and decisive role in leading the country to a better future. Here, we have been educating for the last 50 years our future generations in close cooperation with the industrial community and have been developing academic ties of our country with many countries of the world.
I am confident that this is an important step forward towards the expansion of the relations and cooperation between our Institute and Armenia, with your scientific and educational establishments.”
President Sarkissian thanked for the invitation and noted, “Our peoples have multiple similarities. Both are very ancient nations, were expelled from their homeland, struggled to preserve our countries, cultures, and identities. We both had lost our statehood hundreds of years ago and gained it back, we both had gone through horrendous human tragedies.
The Armenian Genocide of 1915 took lives of 1,5 million Armenians, wiped out the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire. As a result, a large Diaspora was formed.
The purpose of my visit to Isreal is to pay tribute on behalf of my people and my own behalf to the victims of the Holocaust. Our two nations proved that life is stronger than death. In this world, it is impossible to think about us and speak of death. One should think and speak of life.
Another purpose of my visit is to establish a bridge between the scientists of Armenia and Israel. Relations were very strong during Soviet times. The school of theoretical physics in the USSR was among the best in the world, and we are proud of that fact because it gave us great scientists.
In Soviet times many Armenia as well as Jewish scholars worked in Moscow, Leningrad, Armenia. The USSR of 1970s was very strict: students of the Jewish origin were not accepted to universities, and they were coming to Armenia. After independence we somewhat lost that connection, and many of the Jewish origin, who lived in Armenia, came to Israel.
I am here today to try to open a new page, give a fresh start for our scientific communities. But before doing it, let’s think what kind of research will be needed in future. To think about future and our place in it, it would be useful to imagine what the world will be in 5, 10, or 20 years from now. Looking back at 1950s, we see that the population of our planet was 2 or 2.5 billion and was increasing by some per cent each year. But after 1950s it’s been growing faster. Today, we live in the world which has 10 or more billion people living together. When we glance at the areas of mathematics, physics, science, and technology everything looks fine but there are so many uncertainties and questions on how the world will develop further, how politicians will be making the right decisions, what’s going to happen in the Middle East, with conflicts between different nations, how the economy will grow, etc. There are more questions than answers while the classical solutions don’t work any longer. Confusion is everywhere. What is the source of all this?
Going back 100 or 150 years, when the world was governed by classical mechanics, physicists started to notice a phenomenon which they couldn’t explain, and the situation was almost similar to this one. There were multiple phenomena which scientific giants couldn’t explain, confusion was great on what was going to happen, what would be with the scientific methodology. What happened next? Geniuses were born: Albert Einstein, Werner, Heizenberg.
To explain all this one needs to change the approach, logic, and philosophy. The moment we change it, everything becomes explicable. It is totally different when you know of quantum mechanics, when everything in the world works based on the logic of relativity. For instance, when I want to move from point A to point B, formulas exist which explain that that but in quantum mechanics everything is different. In quantum mechanics you need to change yourself, totally, your philosophy, your mentality, your logic, the mathematics you use because quantum mechanics use mathematics absolutely different from the classical one. The moment you change yourself and your perception, everything becomes possible. Things that were discovered 100 years ago were phenomenal. It was phenomenal not only for scientific research but also for technologies. For everything we have today and will be having 10, 20 years from now, we owe to the giants of quantum mechanics.
Space travel, discovery of nuclear energy, telephones, which we all have, have changed our lives. What is a phone? A means of communication. Imagine our lives without phones. Many of you wouldn’t even remember that there were times without phones. Our kids and grandkids will be living in a totally different world. They will ask how we could survive without phones. People cannot exist without communication. Our first link to the world is formed through our mothers, when she feeds us, teaches us she becomes our means of communication with the world. My two-year old grandkid lives two lives: one is a normal material life, the other is virtual. It is quite possible that they learn more from the virtual life. It is very different from the material world since the speed of communication has become the speed of life. We are becoming individuals whose communication speed is life speed. Thus, communication or ties become the most important factor.
This new world is different. When I look at us, human beings today, I am thinking that we look like elementary particles, we are becoming quantum articles. The world is becoming a place where we are quantum particles in a big world and are able to communicate in a special way. If we want to understand what the new world will be like, what is the future of industry, economy, business, and politics, we need to start changing our mentality, philosopy, logic, viewpoints. Move back 20 or 50 years and tell someone that two guys with no college degree, in the garage of their grandpa created something and became millionares. People will not believe you. This is a new world. In Moscow, Yerevan, New York or here, each young person thinks of creating a startup because they trust in the power of ideas, believe that they can achieve success in the new world. This world is different in every sense.
How classical politics work? It works the following way: there are ideas, ideologists, right wing, left wing, liberals, people create political parties. The latter participate to the elections and form governments. Previously, accountability was expected by the society from elections to elections, or politicians were sending their messages via radio or TV. But nowadays there is Facebook, Twitter which allow politicians to communicate with the society on a daily basis. The ongoing political processes are also of quantum nature. I can bring multiple examples from all over the world when a small event is having a domino effect. Look how entertainment and politics have intertwined. Politics has always been part of entertainment and politicians from ancient times were using the elements of entertainment: think of gladiators. However, now reality is different: politics and entertainment have mixed together. There are numerous comedians who become politicians. And there are multiple politicians who act as comedians. Since this process is interactive, it becomes more and more attractive.
It’s one thing when you come home and watch Game of Thrones, and another thing when you in a social network make direct comments to the producers of the movie. With that, you become a partner. You feel good about it; your opinion is worth something. When multiple people write comments related to this or that political event, it is having a great impact on politicians. Here we are dealing with integration.
Now about science. It is becoming increasingly difficult to study and develop “clean science” because industry and science came very close to each other. Industry dictates what’s to be done. I believe that in a sense we are entering a new Renaissance era. Individuals are powerful today and have become quantum which means your actions are intertwined. You are interrelated through your research, educational process. That research is very close to industry. In the end of the day, you link all this to other areas of your life – arts, music. You individually start to live like prominent people of the Renaissance. For instance, Leonardo da Vinci was not only an artist and sculptor but also a great scientist, engineer. I hope you all will enjoy your life. I would like to come back here in 50 years and to see what’s going on.
Many things in today’s world are quite different, including the methodology of your education. The current generation even before going to school is able to communicate via gadgets with no knowledge of the alphabet. How can you educate this generation, keep them in school for 10 or 12 years, make them sit for 45 minutes for each class when there is so much information around? Information they get is absolute. We need to start thinking again how to teach our children. They are children from the future, they know where they run to. Now we have to teach children, who have this much information, how to use it, how to be innovative and get something useful from what they know rather than make them sit in classrooms for 10 or 12 years. I believe every child, every teenager has this or that kind of talent. And the greatest mission of the educational system should be to reveal that talent. One is great at making chairs, another can compose music. And the educational system should help everyone from the quantum point of view find that talent and support them. Never do things you don’t like. Along with love, family, parents the most precious thing in life is time. It’s an absolute asset. Thus, never waste your time, discover yourselves. I am also here to invite you to Armenia. It is a truly beautiful country. We have no oil but we are lucky to have water. We have 5 to 6 times more water we actualy comsume. We have things to learn from you because you administer the water resources of your country in a better way than we do. There are things we need to learn from you, there are thinks we can teach you. Let’s discover all that. It would be very nice if we are able to discover each other not only on virtual platforms, visiting Google and looking for information on Armenia.
We live in a world with million questions and no answers. This is a new world, a world of data. Everyone is talking of the small countries which became successful because they have harbors. The ocean of information will be an important and powerful ocean of the future. And I strive to make Armenia an international harbor in the ocean of data, information, science and technologies. This is my dream. To achieve that I am in this country, a country which has many sailors, captains, marine specialist of that ocean. I am here to offer working together, doing something which could be useful for you, for us, for the world.
What’s the value of an idea? Does it have a commercial value, can “ideas market” be regulated? The important thing is the ability to create something. Each of you should become Richard Feinman in their area, moving from complicated to simple which is beautiful. Everything in the new world will be changing rapidly. Innovations are happening fast and we need to adopt to success as well as to failures. There are many qualities you need to breed within you to be successful in the 21st century. It will be the century of artificial intelligence and quantum life.
One hundred years ago, our thinkers had discovered that the nature was not classical but quantum. I am here to say that as their humble disciple I not only agree with them but also have a feeling that we, human society, too, which is part of the nature, is not classical either, it is quantum. And you are at the gates of that new quantum world. It would be wonderful and great if you find your own path and try to understand that quantum world.”
At the conclusion of the meeting a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the academic area between the Presidentail ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) initiative on the development of science and technologies in Armenia and HIT Holon Institute of Technology was signed.