Kurzweil Says Passion Projects Are the Best Way to Learn

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According to Ray Kurzweil, learning by doing will become the means by which the next generation of children learns to participate in the world. Technology has already revolutionized education by changing how humans access, store and share knowledge. Over time, passionate engagement with problems we care about will define how we understand education—and the world will become a different place as a result.

“The whole model of education, of stuffing information into kids’ minds is very much obsolete, since we carry all the knowledge of the world on our belts… The knowledge we carry around with us is only going to get ever more rich, and it’s going to become more and more intimately integrated with our lives.” says Kurzweil.

While traditional education has revolved around rote memorization and standardized testing, the one-size-fits-all model of learning pales in comparison to passionately engaging in problems we’re personally interested in solving.

Even today, beginning to treat education as doing—not thinking only—can positively impact society as successful projects outweigh abstract degrees and credentials. Understanding what it takes to solve a complicated problem, according to Kurzweil, is far more beneficial than attempting to “make a living.”

“I think the goal of education is to learn about the world and different types of knowledge, [to] find what your passion or passions are, and to learn by doing. Get involved with the world and try to change the world,” says Kurzweil.

If you didn’t have to earn a living and instead could attack a problem—what would you choose first?


For years, Ray Kurzweil has been giving fireside chats at Singularity University. Now, some of his best questions and answers will be released every Thursday on Singularity University’s Ray K Q&A YouTube channel. Check back each week for the latest video.

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Andrew operates as a media producer and archivist. Generating backups of critical cultural data, he has worked across various industries — entertainment, art, and technology — telling emerging stories via recording and distribution.

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