Wakamiya Masako's own necklace design, made using 3D printing
For the elderly, technology can compensate for the effects of declining physical functions. Memory, for example, is something that happens when you get older, whereas I can leave the job of remembering things to the computer and just use it to search for it when I need it. Wouldn't that be easy?
When you're out and about having a conversation with someone and can't think of what to say, you can use your phone to do a quick search. The other day, I suddenly forgot the word "Bagna càuda" (an Italian-style vegetable dip), so I searched for it by typing "steamed vegetables", "sauce", and "dip" using a voice search app. As a result, detailed information on the preparation of Bagna càuda, the history of the dish, and the etymology of the word came up, and I learned a lot of new things with it.
Last year I was contacted by foreign media for an interview and they said they wanted me to answer some questions on the day. I used Google Translate to translate the Japanese into English and sent it to them. While Google Translate isn't completely accurate, it at least conveys the meaning. Google's photo translation also helped me a lot when I was traveling in Russia. It's so convenient to just open the app on your phone, take a picture of the Russian menu or flyer, and the Russian on it will be translated into Japanese.
I used Airbnb to book a B&B with a kitchen when I was invited by the United Nations to visit New York in February this year. Fellow travellers simply buy fresh fish from the nearby market and we can use the kitchen to cook fish dishes. It's amazing how technological advances have made traveling overseas so easy and enjoyable.
A constant challenge
"If something of interest comes up, don't hesitate to launch a challenge. It's never too late to start no matter how old you are. "That's what I believe in. I would say to middle-aged and older people over 40: "The idea that 'it's only ...... now' is a big no-no. "Don't worry if it's too late, try even a little bit, and please don't give up on challenging yourself to something new.
Incidentally, I didn't start learning English until I was 40. Although I couldn't reach fluency, at least by trying, I felt that learning English wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Without that attempt at age 40, when I received an invitation to speak in English from the United Nations in my 80s, I probably would have given up for fear of not being able to do it.
The idea that "you have to put up with it now for the sake of your retirement" is long overdue. The future can't be predicted, not to mention the fact that society is changing so quickly now that it's pointless to "live with" it.
Nowadays, young people are very busy with their work, and many of them think that "they can talk about their hobbies and interests after retirement" and "they want to earn more money for their retirement". I want to say to them, do what you want to do now, go where you want to go now. It is only by making the "now" more fulfilling that we can enhance our value as human beings.
The age of AI is coming soon, and the value of people in the new age is the most important thing. In the future era, you will be able to create apps even without programming knowledge, but you can't create value if you don't know what people need and what will bring convenience to their lives. It is our good fortune to live in an age of rapid technological advancement, and it is the greatest waste not to enjoy the bounty of technology.
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