Why the education sector needs an AI reboot

AI is not part of the daily conversation in schools right now. I know, because I sometimes work with students at a collegiate level, mentoring and training them and helping to create a better cross-pollination between the academic world and the future prospect of a real job.

From what I’ve seen, AI is only mentioned in passing (“the Alexa bot is cool”), but the idea of a total transformation of the workforce thanks to automation and machine learning in the next 10 years is not exactly part of the curriculum. I’d say it’s even an afterthought, a nice idea that will impact future generations but not something that is vital to their education today.

Big mistake.

Bot expert Andrew Ng noted recently that job displacement is a big concern. He wasn’t talking about replacing humans with robots; he was talking about how automations are already here. The education field needs to wake up to this new reality. It’s not a fear about The Terminator taking over factories and leaving all the workers unemployed and homeless. It’s a concern about how we’re training students to incorporate AI into their jobs or even become coders — that we’re training students today for jobs that might not exist.

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