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Matt Crosslin

What will the Rise of Artificial Intelligence Mean for Education?

2 min read

While Virtual Reality is grabbing a lot of the headlines in tech these days, there are other feilds brewing and growing as well. Artificial Intelligence is one area that educators should turn their attention to, for good or for bad. As George Siemens has pointed out, companies like Intel are betting big on AI. In many ways, we are used to AI in things like Siri, Google Search auto-complete, recommend-er systems (like in Spotify), and in our customer service phone calls. Sometimes the predictions of what AI could do in education are a mixed bag of interesting ideas, concerning ideas, and confusing ideas (is it really "self-direction" if AI assists with it?). Whether or not it is really intelligence or just a trick of really complex programming is also a big question, although researchers are making headway into discovering the ways that intelligence occurs naturally. Sometimes when we set AI loose on various creative tasks, the results are not all that we expected (even though I kind of like the song that AI wrote to be honest). Regardless of whether one likes it or not, the field is moving forward and we will see more in education. The video above looks at the basics of what is AI and how it could be used in education. Much of this is about creating a custom curriculum for learners. While this may seem weird to some, it is a solid possibility. I used to work as a director at a tutoring center. We spent most of the day writing out custom curriculum plans for each student. It was based on a very structured modular system that was easy to map out. Much of that could be automated with AI to be honest. The problem would not be the AI system it self, but the materials that it puts together and how they are put together. In other words, don't worry as much about the AI as the designers behind it. How are they creating these systems? Are they creating AI that is transparent and flexible, by telling learners what it is doing up front, why it is making the choices it makes, who (specifically) gets to see their data and what (specifically and completely) they will do with it, and how to change any of that if they don't like anything?