Education Needs AI as a Mind Multiplier
New technologies change how we work. Each time a new technology enters the workforce, we lament the loss of jobs, but in reality, the jobs don’t go away. They become opportunities to engage in critical thinking and problem-solving.
The advent of artificial intelligence brings similar concerns, but AI will change the way we learn and work.
Don’t think AI in education is some futuristic concept. Artificial intelligence is already here, and it’s in more classrooms than you might think.
Artificial intelligence in education
MIT has committed $1B to interdisciplinary AI education. The goal of this endeavor is to help students in diverse fields incorporate AI in their own fields of study. The interdisciplinary approach is something frequently cited by researchers as a necessary approach to reducing possible bias in AI.
Ethical breaches are a significant concern in artificial intelligence. At Carnegie Mellon University, graduate students concern themselves with relevance in an effort to bridge theory with real-world application. AI is no longer just for computer nerds and science/math majors. Every discipline eventually will integrate AI, and universities like Stanford are already taking AI to area high school classes.
AI’s Impact on learning
Artificial intelligence is meant to improve people’s lives and multiply our capacity for thinking. We feel its impact in the way technology interacts with us. If, for example, you use online technology to explore new restaurants, your social media feeds will fill up with ads suggesting where else you might like dining out.
AI predicts your next moves, and it can apply these same strategies in the classroom. Educators may already feel like artificial intelligence is already changing the classroom, and it is. Artificial intelligence promises to:
1. Change what and how we teach.
Teaching is less about the content and more about what to do with knowledge. Artificial intelligence can provide adaptive learning for students as they apply their education in new ways. As a result, AI will change our curriculum and its delivery. You can expect to see more personalization and student-led learning.
2. Prepare students for jobs that don’t yet exist.
As AI permeates the classroom and teachers change their practices, it’s necessary to remember that today’s students will be doing jobs that have not been invented yet. It’s difficult to prepare for something you can’t predict, but teaching students to think critically and problem-solve may be the best preparation they can receive.
3. Let go of administrative tasks.
Teachers are superheroes who can get a lot done in a single class period, but what if they didn’t have to do everything themselves? When teachers allow AI to do its job, teachers will find that they have more time to focus on what matters most: working in person with students.
4. Redefine the skills teachers need for successful teaching
Because the role of the classroom teacher is changing, so too will the teacher’s duties. Teachers will no longer have to take care of administrivia (the daily housekeeping chores of attendance-taking and grading). Artificial intelligence is already doing these things.
The future of AI
Humans and computers will continue to work together because they have unique skills. Computers are pattern-finders, capable of using algorithms in their searches as they compile data with detached objectivity. Humans bring empathy and emotion to the classroom. Classroom teachers bring understanding and compassion to learning experiences.
Incorporating AI is about healthy tech use in the classroom. Finland has introduced AI to its citizens in an effort help them better understand the potential of artificial intelligence and what future implications AI has for the choices they make today. The awareness initiative has helped the Finns recognize how their education system can benefit from AI as a mind multiplier.
It’s a model that can be implemented in other countries as well, beginning here.