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Artificial Intelligence in Education – How to Prepare the Next Generation for AI Jobs

Aditya Singhal 28 March, 2018

Artificial intelligence is now a crucial part of technology and innovation. We all are witnessing its growth over the recent years, and so we all can agree to our bright future. All thanks to the increasing trends in artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT). 10 Years from now – and the lives of our next generation will no more be like what we are experiencing today. After integrating artificial intelligence in education they will be using artificial intelligence as a tool every day.

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With the introduction of artificial intelligence in education, the chances are that our future generation might be building new technologies with artificial intelligence. There will be a huge demand for programmers, data scientists, IT specialists and Cybersecurity professionals shortly. We have to prepare our future generation for the AI jobs. In this article, we will discuss how the integration of AI and education can do wonders for our next generation.

The Need of Skill-Set Shift for Competing with the Changing Technology

The applications of artificial intelligence are no more restricted to personal assistance. It has already made big achievements. From web development trends, web design, medicine, cyber security, language processing and computer vision, AI is bringing a noteworthy revolution. It has been reported that today more than 260,000 robots work in the US factories. It is projected that the future workplace would be dominated by robotics and automation to a significant extent.

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Today, the industries are making use of new technologies and digitization, whether it is transportation, marketing, sales, logistics, automotive or electronics. It is expected that automation might lead to a decline in the low-skilled jobs. But with this, a need for highly-skilled workers would arise as the industries would need people to manage the robots. The revolutionary technology of artificial intelligence would bring more job opportunities in the US and other countries, but with different skill-set requirements.

If we want to prepare our next generation for this automated era we need to integrate AI and education. Workers would need to learn better skills and expand their knowledge about technology. There would be a demand for human-machine collaboration rather than a battle between man and machine.

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence in Education

In order to prepare our next generation to face the skill-shift with grace, we need to implement some changes in the current education system. Our present school system cannot compete with the Fourth Industrial Revolution in areas such as robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. It is the need of the hour that we make the presently working professionals, educators, as well as students get familiar with artificial intelligence. Schools, Universities, and educational institutions need to introduce AI in education.

A basic step could be making students aware of the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence and how the concept actually works. Artificial intelligence is capturing every area of our daily lives. We all are constantly using it. It is there in our mobile phones, shopping apps, and games. In fact, the role of artificial intelligence in education is becoming momentous day by day.

The teachers are creating smart content and provide online assignment help as per the individual requirements of the learners so that they can learn the concepts more easily. It is because of artificial intelligence that the teachers can rapidly identify and bridge those learning gaps for their students. Artificial intelligence in education is not a completely new subject matter for the students. They are using it every day. Hence, all we need to do is make every student aware of the technical aspects of it.

A need for Curriculum Revision at all Educational Levels

From the basic skills required to understand the complex concepts of AI, we need to inculcate every aspect among the students. A good way to start it is by introducing the concept of problem-solving and decision-making among the students. The concept of artificial intelligence in education requires that project-based learning should be applied in the schools. Students should be taught the importance of working in a team so that they can collaborate in the future for beginner innovations.

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There should be a good focus on computer science subjects in the education curriculum. It is now an important requirement to introduce programming languages to the school students. Educators should encourage children in elementary and primary schools to start learning how to code especially if they show an interest in it. Remember, there is no specific age to learn to code.

Basic computer programming knowledge would be beneficial to the students no matter what field they choose. Hence, subjects like machine learning, robotics, computational math, statistics, graph theory, data analysis and neural networks should be taught more so that the students get familiar with the concepts that are closely related to artificial intelligence.

A need to promote Moral Principles and Values

There are many qualities that can differentiate humans from machines and it must be our focus to foster such qualities in ourselves and our future generation. Hence, ethics deserve a great attention as we introduce artificial intelligence in education. The students must be able to understand the importance of values as machines cannot understand this on their own. For example, a self-driving car must be able to balance the lives of the people sitting inside it and the people who are working on the roads. The car would do as its programmers would program it to do. Hence, all such applications of artificial intelligence require a decision making at a moral level. It is not only about learning the latest technology – it is about the skills set that are beyond technology.

The Changing Role of Teachers

We want to introduce AI in education but, do we have trained faculties for the same? As every sector is experiencing a shift in skills so does the teaching. There is a need for teachers who are expert in teaching subjects related to computer science and artificial intelligence. Experts are required who can help students understand the concept of problem-solving and team-building. But, it has been found that there is a severe shortage of teachers in the US who can teach computer science.

Hence, not only students but teachers also require a proper training in order to prepare our next generation for the automated future. After all, it is only because of the teachers that we can bring the concepts of artificial intelligence in education. Programs like TEALS by Microsoft and UTeach by the University of Texas are taking great initiatives in this direction. Similarly, other tech companies can also join hands to create more technically trained teachers.

Generally speaking, we all have to make efforts to bring artificial intelligence in education field by teaching students the skills that will be relevant to them in the future. It is evident that the industries would change, the roles would change and new jobs would emerge due to artificial intelligence. Hence, the highlight of our education goals should be inculcating these new skills among our teachers as well as students.

Do you think we are ready for the automated future? Do not forget to share your opinions on artificial intelligence in education and its benefits for our future generation in the Comments section.

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Author: Aditya Singhal
Aditya Singhal is the writer at StudyClerk and the co-founder of Transtutors, a leading Online Education platform for college students. Having graduated from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi, Aditya has a personal interest in helping students.