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Why we need to rethink education in the Artificial Intelligence age

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Artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies (ET) are poised to transform modern society in profound ways. As with electricity in the last century, AI is an enabling technology that will animate everyday products and communications, endowing everything from cars to cameras with the ability to interact with the world around them, and with each other. These developments are just the beginning, and as AI/ET matures, it will have sweeping impacts on our work, security, politics, and very lives.

These technologies are already impacting the world around us, as Darrell West and I wrote in our April 2018 piece “How artificial intelligence is transforming the world,” and I highly recommend that anyone just discovering the topic of AI policy read it thoroughly. There, Darrell and I describe several important implications related to AI/ET, but chief among them is that these technology developments are on the cusp of ushering in a true revolution in human affairs at an increasingly fast pace.

As AI continues to influence and shape existing industries and allows new ones to take root, its macro-level impact, particularly in the realm of economics, will become more and more apparent. Control over the research and development of AI will become increasingly vital, and the winners of this upcoming AI-defined era in human history will be the countries and companies that can create the most powerful algorithms, assemble the most talent, collect the most data, and marshal the most computing power. This is the next great technology race of our generation and the stakes are high, particularly for the United States. If American society is to embrace the full range of social and political changes that these technologies will introduce, then it is the education and training we provide our youth and workers that will fuel the engines of future AI, and therefore geopolitical success.

It is the education and training we provide our youth and workers that will fuel the engines of future AI, and therefore geopolitical success.

I’ve studied and written extensively about the effects of AI/ET on the evolving character of war toward a concept I’ve called hyperwar—or, a new era of warfare in which, through AI, the speed of decision-making is faster than anything that has come before. At a superficial level, this topic often devolves into a discussion of “killer robots,” or at the very least, the impending use of AI in lethal autonomous weaponry. While those discussions are relevant and inextricably linked, they represent a narrow understanding of the greater issues at hand. The concern over AI’s potential or theoretical military applications must not distract us from how far-reaching the impact of AI will be in nearly all other policy domains. Health care, education, agriculture, energy, finance, and yes, national security, will all be reshaped in some way by AI—with education being the pivot point around which the future of the United States revolves. This is not solely a matter of social redress, but, in fact, a larger national issue.

A future in which the United States is second in the race for AI technology would create a situation of national technological and digital/cyber inferiority, which could in turn result in national strategic subservience.

The way we use education to prepare our next generation of leaders will directly determine whether the U.S. retains its leadership in critical fields of relevance in the emerging digital environment. Without a sufficiently educated population and workforce, the U.S. likely will slip behind other states for whom AI/ET is not only meant for improved social organization, but for strategic superiority, and ultimately digital and physical conquest. A future in which the United States is second in the race for AI technology would create a situation of national technological and digital/cyber inferiority, which could, in turn, result in national strategic subservience—something simply unimaginable.

Many Americans grew up with the understanding that the American capacity to fight and win a nuclear war was defined by its superiority in the Strategic Triad, the three legs of our strategic deterrence: our missile squadrons, our bomber fleet, and our ballistic missile submarines.  Behind that dizzying array of hardware was the undisputed power of U.S. intellectual and technical capabilities, and behind that was a near unlimited supply of talented engineers, each trained by a system of education undisputed in its excellence. That system was built from the ground up to produce crucial STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) protégés in the quantities needed to ensure American strategic superiority, which contributed directly to the U.S. and its allies prevail in the Cold War. For the health of our American way of life, our competitive advantage, and the strategic security of our nation, the basis for tomorrow’s system of education must reflect a deliberately tuned and calibrated system that proactively emphasizes AI/ET, big data analytics, and super-computing.

Unfortunately, in both relative and absolute terms, the U.S. is falling behind in the race for superiority in these key technologies. Where the U.S. strategic advantage of the 20th Century was secured by American nuclear superiority, U.S. superiority in the 21st Century will likely be preserved, safeguarded, and sustained through a system of education that envisages the changes necessary and sufficient to embrace and apply relevant technologies. It will also be underwritten by educators who grasp the profound shifts in the pedagogical skills essential to the educational needs of the 21st Century.

posted Mar 21 in EdTech by Nakry

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+1 vote

According to a Northeastern University/Gallup poll, most Americans are optimistic about artificial intelligence’s (AI) impact on their futures while, at the same time, expecting the net effect of AI to be an overall reduction in jobs. If we manage AI effectively, I believe it can be a net benefit to both society and the economy.

Is AI (Artificial Intelligence) a game-changer for higher Education?

The question is: How will higher education manage AI?

Unfortunately, higher education does not have a reputation for managing change effectively. Our experience is much more one of coming late to the party—and not of our own accord. We cannot and should not do this with AI.

First, much of the expertise to develop AI is coming from university laboratories, with AI hot spots in university centres such as Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and the Research Triangle of North Carolina. If we can develop AI for businesses at home and abroad, why can’t we do the same for ourselves?

Second, many creative applications of AI have already been developed to solve problems within the university. Certainly, enrollment-management processes, as well as today’s learning management systems, look nothing like those of 20 years ago. These changes are clear applications of AI. At the end of the day, however, the application of AI within the university is quite limited.

Where are the higher-ed AI opportunities?

To find opportunities for AI growth within the university, we need to distinguish between activities that are uniquely human as opposed to those that can be computerized. Individuals excel at defining problems, distinguishing between “good” and “bad,” at idiosyncratic tasks such as detecting false positives, and in developing novel combinations not anticipated by previous experience. Computers excel at tasks that involve well-understood rules and procedures.

Furthermore, human decision making is enhanced when it occurs in groups. Social facilitation, cooperation, division of labour and the collecting of different perspectives, knowledge, and experience all combine to enhance decision making by groups.

Of course, neither individuals nor groups are without their problems. Individuals can be slow and inefficient in their decision making, to say nothing of the limits a single individual’s knowledge and experience. Likewise, groups can be guilty of premature closure, becoming too risky or too conservative because of preconceived expectations and groupthink. Much of the work of organizational psychology has focused on how to manage individual and group decision making so as to keep the good and minimize the bad.

Thus, if AI is seen not as a way to replace the individual but as a way to make individuals and groups more effective, both the impact of AI and its acceptance will be greatly improved. Today, augmented reality has greater potential for changing how we do things in higher education. Interesting examples of this concept can be found in the business world, where AI is used to facilitate human fraud detectors for banks and human translators and editors in publishing.

How can this distinction yield applications within higher education?

While MOOCs have not yielded the disruptions that many expected, they have had a significant impact on the way we deliver course materials. Lectures on most introductory topics are readily available on the web and the push for flipped classrooms is ubiquitous. These applications facilitate what individual instructors do.

Where AI can make its mark

The real impact on learning can come through learning management systems (LMSs). We have known for quite a while that we can use technology to manage classroom participation. There is much research, including my own, that shows that anonymous input systems, when added to regular or online classrooms, increase the participation of individuals who would normally shy away from raising their hands or volunteering comments.

Applications are being developed to use AI to track student questions asked in a class and direct them to answers and to other students with the same questions. The Minerva Project is so convinced of the power of such technology that class discussions occur only online—despite students living together in the same building.

Furthermore, the massive amount of data generated by LMSs has the potential to increase the effectiveness of learning. Researchers at a school where I previously worked used data on students’ online participation to identify within the first two weeks of a class which students were likely to perform poorly. They were then able to change these students’ participation patterns and thus their outcomes.

Getting faculty buy-in
The question, however, is whether such applications will be embraced by the faculty members who fear that change will result in their demise. And at their core, many faculty members believe that learning is a uniquely individual process. Until professors see AI as a means of enhancing their effectiveness, resistance will continue.

Disruptors are on the horizon. The entrance of Arizona State and Purdue into the online marketplace is significant. MBA programs are ripe for disruption; most business school deans expect the part-time MBA market to shift to online delivery in the next five years. These online platforms will accelerate the shift to AI-managed learning.

The future for AI within the university is bright. Applications will proliferate and finally disrupt the teaching paradigm. The danger is for institutions that come late to the party and not of their own accord.

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+2 votes

Landing a lucrative role in any company is never a cakewalk. The professional world is constantly changing and the traditional education system has failed to equip us with the required skills to excel in today’s dynamic world of work.

The lifespan of skills acquired is getting shorter, and the demand for people with newer and advanced skills is increasing with each passing day. In such a scenario, up-skilling seems to be the only way forward.

There is a burgeoning need for newer skills and learning any of them could help one get that cherished promotion at work!

Why do we need up-skilling?

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that India has no dearth of talented people. However, talented people, with some right attitude and the passion to work hard can learn new skills that would help them rise up faster at their workplace.

In the year 2019, there would be 2.5 lakh IT jobs created for freshers in India. 

Jobs for Data Scientists, Machine Learning Professionals, Cyber Security, Augmented Reality would see an upsurge in demand, over and above the specialist jobs in Marketing, Growth Hacking and Mobile Application developers.

All these sectors are constantly evolving and up-skilling facilitates a cycle of high productivity, increased employment opportunities, income growth and development.

 

Upskill to future-proof your career

The right upgrading of skills goes a long way in improving one’s productivity and overall performance.

 

7 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHY UPSKILLING WILL BE SO IMPORTANT IN 2019:

1. Reportedly, 68% of employees prefer to learn at work and because up-skilling is a way to keep one abreast of industry trends and requirement. 

2. Executives prefer employees who avoid redundancy and promote opportunities to enable their employees to learn more.

3. The crème de la crème of all skill up courses in the year 2018 were Finance/Bitcoin/Blockchain, Writing, Digital Marketing, Project Management and Google Analytics. They are offered by e-learning websites like Coursera, Career Anna, Hubspot and Udemy. 

4. Online programmes on Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Public Speaking are always in vogue and the trend will continue in the year 2019.

5. Other courses to reign in the year 2019 would be based on hard skills which companies look for the most – SEO/SEM Marketing, Network and Information Security, Perl/Python/Ruby and Business Intelligence. 

6. According to a Forbes report, 58 million new jobs would be created in Artificial Intelligence by the year 2022. Thus, pursuing this stream would be a very good idea.

7. As per an India Today report, 50,000 jobs are lying vacant in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning with more and more companies trying to tap these new technologies. Professionals would benefit much from opting for a career in such an on-demand stream.

 

Not restricted to technical and functional training

Upskilling need not be strictly technical and functional. Familiarization with the new technological trends in the contemporary digital age helps in aiming for higher opportunities, but soft skills such as communication, leadership, collaboration, and time management are equally important.

As per a LinkedIn report, executives and people managers feel that leadership and communication are the two most important soft skills that employees need to acquire.

 

Online skill up courses can enhance the development of employees

Learning can be a tedious process is a continuous requirement. However, the problem of learning has been solved to a large extent with the proliferation of online tools, which are both convenient and flexible.

We, at Career Anna, want to create better professionals for the industries by bringing quality education beyond the classroom.

Our skill up courses have helped over 9,000 professionals across the country get placed in top companies like Cognizant, Accenture, Dell, Samsung, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, TCS, and HCL across high growth technology roles, amongst many other Consulting and Product Companies.

Around 69% of the employees who took our skill up courses either got promoted at work or found better paying job opportunities.

Companies want people who can portray initiative, commitment, and the desire to move ahead. Taking up skill up courses to either enhance your skills or learn new ones will make managers and executives value you.

+2 votes

With CBSE introducing artificial intelligence as an elective paper, students and teachers must be very excited to know how can AI help the students’ performance grow. It has been decided that the subject would be introduced in classes 8, 9 and 10 as a skill subject.

Artificial Intelligence in Schools: How AI-powered adaptive learning technology can help students

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the ability of a machine to think, learn and perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making skills. Capabilities demonstrated by machines, including computers, from playing chess to operating cars and beyond, fall within the domain of artificial intelligence.

How AI-powered Adaptive Learning Technology brings Personalised Learning to Kids

The rapid spread of education among the masses in the industrial era made the ‘one-size-fits-all’ method of learning the most convenient one for training subsequent generations of the workforce due to lack of resources. This method of education did not cater to the interests of most students, and learning became less engaging and meaningful for them. Additionally, learning was very superficial, with learners having only a basic understanding of concepts and this led to poor retention. This problem was recognised by the 18th-century social revolutionary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau who made the following recommendations:

“Teach your scholar to observe the phenomena of nature; you will soon rouse his curiosity, but if you would have it grow, do not be in too great a hurry to satisfy this curiosity. Put the problems before him and let him solve them himself. Let him know nothing because you have told him, but because he has learnt it for himself…”

Rousseau talks about self-paced and self-styled learning methods, which came to be termed as personalised learning in the 1960s. Personalised learning includes tailoring educational content according to the learners’ strengths, needs and interests, applying competency-based progression to set the individual pace for comfortable learning, and customising instructional modes to maximise learning intake. Before technological advancement, personalised learning was possible only through one-to-one private tutorials, which could be afforded only by affluent families. The rest of the learners had to submit to ‘factory schooling’, which failed to spark interest or provide in-depth learning, thus demotivating them. However, the turn of the millennium saw technology grow by leaps and bounds and its eager adoption in upgrading several learning strategies, including personalised learning.

Adaptive tests

Personalised learning has now come within the reach of everyone through adaptive learning technology. Powered by artificial intelligence, it analyses a vast pool of data to tailor the content as per an individual’s interest and knowledge level. This is initiated with the help of adaptive tests, which accurately quantifies the knowledge of different topics of individual learners. These tests include a large pool of questions usually drawn from data collected over the years, whose difficulty level is determined on the basis of the number of students who have answered the questions correctly. Learners are first posed with a mid-level question and based on their response, the difficulty level of the next question and the subsequent ones are modified— if they answer a question of mid-level difficulty correctly, then they will be presented with a question with a higher level of difficulty, but if answered incorrectly, the system will pose a simpler question.

 

Optimal learning paths

Adaptive assessments help instructors to precisely determine where the individual learner stands at the beginning of the academic course and to measure gaps through the course of learning. These tests give detailed analytical reports of the knowledge state and learning pattern of the learner, according to which an optimal learning path is established. This constitutes the second part of adaptive learning— adaptive content. We at Next Education have designed an adaptive learning platform as part of our Next Learning Platform, which will present the optimal learning resources from our vast pool of content (simulations, real-life videos and hands-on learning tools) based on what the learner responds best to. This inspires inquiry-based learning, which ensures that students follow the best-suited learning path and attain learning goals in an optimal time.

Making personalised learning available for all

Implementing personalised learning was practically impossible before adaptive learning technology came into the scene. The two major factors affecting this were lack of qualified teachers and financial resources. Personalised instruction needs an ideal student--teacher ratio of six to eight students per teacher. Besides , most teachers lack adequate training for effective teaching. Thus, only a select few elite schools with exceptionally good teachers were able to facilitate a personalised learning environment to students.

 

herefore, in the absence of such learning opportunities in most schools, parents chose to enrol students in coaching classes or appoint private tutors. The scenario in group coaching classes was not that encouraging either. Appointing skilled private tutors might be ideal, but it is certainly be a costly affair. A private teacher would charge approximately ₹ 2,000 to ₹ 5,000 per student for one subject for a month. On the other hand, adaptive learning would cost only around ₹ 200–500 for a student per month, thereby helping students avail quality education at affordable prices. Additionally, increasing internet and digital system usage in recent years has improved access to digital education, bringing the advantages of adaptive learning to remote areas of the country.

Thus, AI-powered adaptive learning has brought personalised learning within the reach of all 21st-century learners, solving the three-fold problem of quality, cost and access that continues to plague education, especially in developing countries such as India. The continuous evolution of education technology with the help of artificial intelligence promises more wonders such as advanced language teaching tools and smart assistants in classrooms, which will change the face of education completely.

+2 votes

Education Technology (also known as “EdTech”) refers to an area of technology devoted to the development and application of tools (including software, hardware, and processes) intended to promote education.

Put another way, “EdTech is a study and ethical practice for facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

Although this developing field may sound like a specialized niche, its potential implications are far-reaching and affect many segments of the population. Read on to find out if you’re among those most likely to benefit from the advancement of EdTech, and how you can contribute to its growth.

For Educators and Educational Institutions…

The great tech minds tasked with creating the data-driven processes and applications that facilitate learning may understand solution-implementation–but they can’t stand in for educators when it comes to disseminating knowledge.

Conversely, strong educators aren’t necessarily equipped or inclined to deal with all the technology available to them and develop ways to apply it to their discipline. They will be the first to tell you that there are enough challenges in their day-to-day work without asking them to become IT experts, as well.

“If developed and applied correctly, #edtech has the potential to become industry-changing”

Services like Alma and Engrade provide one-stop solutions for teachers and schools while illustrating just how far EdTech can take us. If developed and applied correctly, educational technology has the potential to become truly industry-changing for educators–streamlining time-consuming processes (like lesson planning, reporting, and record-keeping) and simplifying communication–with even farther-reaching implications for educational institutions themselves.

EdTech Magazine cites the capacity of this technology for providing institutions with “a very clear understanding of any number of points of reference — student progress, budget performance, alumni snapshots; the list of possibilities and insights truly is limitless.”

For this reason, the future of education relies on an ongoing dialogue between educators and educational institutions, and professionals in the tech world.

The future of education relies on educators, institutions & tech professionals

For Technologists and Designers…

For tech professionals, this means a growing and ongoing need for development in the area that is able to scale as evolving devices and technology multiply avenues for information delivery. And that’s a tall order in a landscape where these elements are developing almost more quickly than they can be understood and applied to the field of education.

Not surprisingly, the current rate of EdTech development is leaving gaps. The recent Software & Information Industry Association’s 2014 K-20 vision survey revealed a“high desire for more technology integration–and need for more support–at all educational levels.”

The annual survey, which polls nearly 1,000 educators across every tier of K-20 education, was released in June during the International Society for Technology in Education’s 2014 expo and indicated that “the ideal level of technology integration is significantly higher than current levels.” EdTech Magazine highlighted several findings from the report, including the following pain points:

  • The majority of K-12 respondents do not feel “highly prepared” for online, summative assessments: 42 percent say they have adequate bandwidth, and 36 percent say they have enough devices and other hardware for students.

  • Three-quarters of K-12 respondents say technology integration is highly important, but their current levels and ideal levels of integration do not align: Only 22 percent say their schools are already highly integrated.

These findings signal a need for technological and professional development on every level of EdTech and the presence of unique career development opportunities.

For Career Seekers…

While a number of job-seekers wish to find work that is simultaneously fulfilling and profitable, the two don’t always seem to go hand in hand (just ask a teacher).

However, the dramatic increase in venture capital investment in Education Technology promises just that.

Forbes remarks, “Whereas teachers generally top out at around $80,000 (and only if they get masters/doctoral degrees), education entrepreneurs have shown that making money and doing well are not always misaligned.”

Whether you’re embarking on a new career or seeking career guidance, the promise of the growing educational technology field delivers enticing opportunities to apply your skills in an environment with true global impact.

For Everyone Else…

At the risk of over-evangelizing the importance of Education Technology, it can be said that the successful development of these tools will impact every aspect of our future. Accessible, effective solutions for superior education empower students and teachers to focus on the task of learning. They can do more with the resources they have, improving the quality of education available to young people around the globe, and better-equipping them for the future.

These are our imminent engineers, architects, and doctors–the leaders of social and political movements to come. Making sure they have the best means available in order to prepare them for these roles ensures a brighter future for all living creatures, and for the planet itself. The next generation faces no shortage of challenges–it’s our job to see that they face no shortage of support in order to overcome them.

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