Artificial Intelligence – The future of learning is in our hands

Artificial Intelligence

The new age progressive educators have a great opportunity to harness technologies like artificial intelligence to deliver a high quality personalised learning experience to students of tomorrow.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with students about science in an open lesson on September 1, the start of the school year in Russia. The open lesson was attended by students and teachers from 16,000 schools, the total audience exceeding one million.

He told them that “the future belongs to Artificial Intelligence” and whoever masters it first willrule the world. Andrew Ng, one of the Gurus of this field declared that ‘Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity’.

Mukesh Ambani at the recent HT Leadership summit committed huge investments to transform agriculture, healthcare and education with Artificial Intelligence and allied technologies.

These three pronouncements should lead us to our New Year Resolution of trying to ‘Make Sense of Artificial Intelligence’.And, especially to its impact on education.

In a world where AI and Machine Learning tools support virtually every part of our lives, the full power of such tools has yet to be unleashed to those who might benefit most – educators and learners? The new age progressive educators have a great opportunity if they can harness these technologies to deliver a high quality personalised learning experience to large learning cohorts.

Although it would seem that Artificial Intelligence has just come upon us in the last five years, its seeds were sown about 50 years ago. But, lack of the right hardware, approaches and enough data came in the way of its adoption for useful applications.

The most important recent development over last year has been the availability of chips to enable AI and Machine Learning in a mobile phone. It is projected that by 2020 one in three Smartphones will have AI abilities. So clearly the trinity of future education is Internet access, a Smartphone and Artificial Intelligence.

The quality of education that is being offered today is good for a only very small minority, and most of our education is out of sync with the needs of the future. Our Bharata Ratna, Professor CNR Rao made a statement in 2015 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan that 90% of our Universities have outdated curricula.

The general educational landscape of the nation is in a sorry state. About 800 engineering colleges and 1000 teacher training institutes have been closed recently. To be entering the 3rd decade of the 21st Century without these 2 professionals in adequate numbers is indeed very unfortunate. The teaching profession is the mother of all professions.