British Inventor Criticizes 'Brain-Dead' Google Generation

British inventor Trevor Baylis has claimed that the internet is making a new generation of children 'brain-dead' predominately due to the influence of Google.

The 75-year-old, who created the wind-up radio, says the current generation of kids are failing to learn practical skills and will subsequently be unable to create anything with their hands.

Baylis added that children are becoming overly reliant on instant Google searches, as well as expressing his concern for the next generation of inventors.

"Children have got to be taught hands-on, and not to become mobile phone or computer dependent. They are dependent on Google searches. A lot of kids will become fairly brain-dead if they become so dependent on the internet, because they will not be able to do things in the old-fashioned way."

Dr David Wood, a maths professor at Warwick University and Academic Leader of the International Gateway for Gifted Youth, disagreed with Baylis' comments.

"Far from dumbing down, from my point of view it is just the opposite. The internet is a tool and one with fantastic potential for kids if it is used properly. We use the internet to enable the brightest kids to link up with each other."

  • scifi9000 just no. I fail to see how getting instant results to questions stifles invention? Sure, research skills may suffer, but then again, not really, as proper research still needs to be done to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of quality and accuracy of responses. If anything, this should enable even more curiosity. And doing things with hands.. that's just something you need to do if you want to get things into the real world from out of your head.... that's not going to change too much in a hurry, and if the likes of 3D printing does put an end to skilled craftsmen, that would be a shame, but I think arts will continue... just maybe in another form.
  • InvalidError
    I have always had poor memory for as far back as I can remember and that would be all the way back to before I even knew the internet existed, before I even owned my first dial-up modem.

    While relying on Google to look stuff up may mean I'm screwed if I'm stuck in a situation where I need to know something I forgot, not having to periodically review tons of stuff I may never need to use entirely for the sake of just trying to remember it does free me up to learn other stuff that I may be more likely to need instead.

    So I agree with the other guy: Google doesn't make kids dumber. Used correctly, it enables them to spend more time focusing on the actual problem they want to solve.
  • The guy is a tool, he created a wind up radio and now believes his opinion matters!
  • Mastashake15
    I don't agree with everything he's saying, but one thing that is for sure is that we are headed on a dangerous road with the tech we are coming up with. Nanochips inserted into our brains, computers that are smarter and more powerful than us, it won't be long before we can't even function without them. We will build technology so fast that we as consumers won't be able to imagine a world without it, and if it ever fails or is taken away, we will return to the dark ages. I think at this point right now in time, we have gone as far as we need to go for a long while with tech. Maybe after another 50 years or so we will be smart enough to continue and develop.
  • I wonder how technologically versed this 75-year old is actually. I mean, how much time has he actually spent on a computer or mobile device. How plugged in is he? Lets sit him infront of a computer and see how "brain dead" he is when it comes to using a device he apparently knows so much about.

    The internet can be used to speed up the process of learning, simply put. It can also be used to market something you created with your own two hands.
  • dalethepcman
    As an inventor, I would hope he would be more open minded to the potential benefits, but I can imagine my grandfather saying the same thing, and in a sense they are correct. Children can access the internet and use it to do all their thinking for them, but that kind of person was never destined to be an inventor.

    The way I see things, the internet has enabled people to be more innovative and imaginative. We no longer need to look up research publications to see if we remembered someones theory correctly, we can have previous designs instantly available and think of possible ways to enhance them or redesign them completely without needing to devote 20 years of our life memorizing everything in existence. This enables us to "go with the flow" and let our brains continue along a spark of genius.

    At some point in the past, I can imagine someone probably said the same thing about a some other inventions. "writing if for the weak of mind, you should just pass down all your knowledge via oral history." "Calculators are making people bad at math, everyone should have a slide rule burned into their memory." "Ugh no need make spear from rock and stick, Ugh kill fine with rock" etc etc etc...
  • Bloob
    Well, I do believe in the hands-on approach, but I'd have to agree with Dr Wood here.
  • spentshells
    InvalidErrorI have always had poor memory for as far back as I can remember

  • mrmaia
    Old people will always tend to bad mouth everything new they can't bother to learn.

    The Internet is the most powerful knowledge sharing tool that ever existed, and Google is quite the glue that holds it together. If it's killing brains, it's no more than TV has done for decades before computers were even invented.
  • mauller07
    I do not agree with him, if instant information makes people dumb than what is his opinion on a library's catalogue system?

    Its not instant information that is reducing the overall thinking abilities of people but the lack of teaching people to think creatively, some people can just intuitively think creatively and have an environment which has nurtured it.

    the education systems overall have reduced the thinking abilities of people overall when they became target focused and box ticking with students learning how to write down the correct answers for a syllabus exam rather than applying what they have been taught and being taught creatively.

    critical thinking is not creative thinking, its more like learning how to shoot people down rather than work off each others ideas and its because of an emphasis on this part of creative thinking that's stifling creative thinking as people don't want to come out with ideas for how they believe others will react.

    lookup Edward de bono, he has many good books on creative thinking and many of his techniques should be school curriculum.