The future of AI in education: 13 things we can do
This piece was originally published as the introduction to a working paper entitled ‘The future of AI in education: 13 things we can do to minimize the damage’ by Dr Arran Hamilton and professors John Hattie and Dylan Wiliam.
I first listened to the article here: How AI Could Bring Big Changes to Education — And How to Avoid Worst-Case Scenarios Edsurge. More info here if you have a subscription. Tes magazine
- Four Scenarios for AI and Education: The article presents four possible scenarios for how AI could affect education in the future, ranging from utopian to dystopian. They are:
- AI as a tool: AI enhances human learning and teaching but does not replace them.
- AI as a tutor: AI replaces human teachers, but human learners remain in control of their learning.
- AI as a learner: AI becomes a co-learner with humans, sharing knowledge and skills.
- AI as a master: AI surpasses human intelligence and takes over education and society.
- 13 Recommendations to Shape the Future of AI and Education: The article suggests 13 actions that educators, policymakers, researchers, and society can take to influence the direction and pace of AI development, such as:
- Regulate AI research and development: Establish ethical and legal frameworks to guide and monitor AI innovation and application.
- Educate the public about AI: Raise awareness and understanding of AI among the general public, especially students and teachers.
- Empower human teachers and learners: Enhance the role and skills of human educators and learners, and foster human-AI collaboration.
- Promote diversity and inclusion in AI: Ensure that AI reflects and respects the diversity and values of different cultures, genders, and backgrounds.
- Engage in dialogue and debate about AI: Encourage open and democratic discussion and decision-making about the future of AI and education.
AI in Education Implications:
- Concerns about student cheating with AI-generated content.
- Opportunities for educators in tasks like lesson planning.
- Broader Debate on Education’s Purpose:
- Paper titled “The Future of AI in Education” prompts discussion on education’s purpose.
- Traditional credentials’ potential devaluation in a world with advanced AI.
- Four Scenarios for AI Impact on Education:
- Banning AI: Unlikely, with potential disappointment and uncertain timelines.
- Humans and AI working together: Risks of overreliance on AI, potential unemployment.
- Brain upgrades (transhumanism): Speculative, with technical challenges and potential implications for education.
- Humans disengaging, machines taking over: Shift in education’s purpose, emphasis on leisure-focused skills.
- Challenges and Potential Solutions:
- Skepticism about AI in education, emphasizes the need for meaningful learning experiences.
- Recommendations include criminalizing nondisclosure of AI use, monitoring AI safety, addressing bias, and ensuring transparency.
- Fast Progress and Policymaking:
- Need for swift progress and effective policymaking in response to AI challenges.
- Parallel drawn with historical issues like nuclear non-proliferation.
- Emphasis on setting higher standards, global regulations, safety measures, and age restrictions.
- Positive Aspects of AI:
- AI’s potential to provide insights into decision-making processes.
- Contribution to understanding how human brains work.
- Banning AI:
- Unlikely scenario.
- Potential disappointment before a ban, akin to historical “false dawns.”
- Uncertain timelines for AI development.
- Possibility of slowing down AI progress.
- Humans and AI Working Together:
- Short-term collaboration narrative.
- Risks of overreliance on AI, especially for non-experts.
- A potential shift toward fully AI-driven workforces, leading to unemployment and economic challenges.
- Discussion on creating “fake work” for employment quotas.
- Brain Upgrades (Transhumanism):
- Speculative scenario.
- Technological enhancements to match AI capabilities.
- Ongoing experiments, like Elon Musk’s Neuralink.
- Mainstream adoption is potentially 40 years away.
- Potential implications for education, with traditional institutions undergoing changes or becoming obsolete.