Illustration of a young boy talking to a hyena

Future Tense Fiction: Learning Futures

This collection of three science fiction short stories, published in collaboration with Slate and New America, explores how learning experiences of all kinds will be shaped by technology and other forces in the future—and the moral, ethical, and social challenges this will entail.

How will we learn in the future?

This video is a recording of the discussion between short story authors Simon Brown, Leigh Alexander, and Shiv Ramdas for the Future Tense Fiction: Learning Futures series.

An extreme closeup of an old monitor that says syntax error.

“Just How Much of Higher Education Can Be Automated?” by Katina Michael

This essay by Dr. Katina Michael further examines the looming and ongoing automation of education around the world and the dangers of removing humans from the learning process. This response is a part of the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction.

The trolly solution

“The Trolley Solution” by Shiv Ramdas

This short story by Shiv Ramdas is the third in the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction in which a university professor competes with an educational Artificial Intelligence to see who is the better teacher and what larger social ramifications come about when higher education administration looks to cut costs.

Future Tense Fiction online discussion of “The Trolley Solution”

The discussion between short story author Shiv Ramdas and essay respondent Katina Michael, professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Punya Mishra, professor and Associate Dean of Scholarship and Innovation at MLFTC, served as moderator.

The Void

“The Conundrum of Information Scarcity in a Time of Information Overload” by Andrea K. Thomer

This essay by Dr. Andrea K. Thomer takes a closer look into “The Void” by Leigh Alexander and investigates the limits of data science and who these systems truly serve. This response is a part of the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction.

The Void

“The Void” by Leigh Alexander

This short story by Leigh Alexander is the second in the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction that shows a woman’s experience navigating digital learning and the limits of equity and information in a not so distant future.

Future Tense Fiction online discussion of “The Void”

This video is a recording of the discussion between short story author Leigh Alexander and essay respondent Andrea K. Thomer, information scientist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information.

Illustration of a young boy talking to a hyena

“Speaker” by Simon Brown

This short story by Simon Brown is the first in the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction that explores how learning experiences of all kinds will be shaped by technology and other forces.

Future Tense Fiction online discussion of “Speaker”

This is a discussion between author Simon Brown and essay respondent Dr. Iveta Silova, Director of CASGE at Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College. Moderated by Dr. Punya Mishra, MLFTC Associate Dean of Scholarship and Innovation.

Illustration of a young boy talking to a hyena

“If nonhumans can speak, will humans learn to listen?” by Iveta Silova

This essay by Dr. Iveta Silova takes a closer look into “Speaker” by Simon Brown and questions human ethics in nonhuman interactions. This response is a part of the Learning Futures series by Future Tense Fiction.