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Artificial Intelligence in Education: Examining the Possibilities and Implications

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Topics: Emerging Trends, Future of Learning

The age of artificial intelligence (AI) is here, and the time to examine its potential implications for, and impacts on, education is now. Artificial Intelligence in Education by Maya Bialik, Charles Fadel and Wayne Holmes of the Center for Curriculum Redesign makes a powerful case for shifting education’s focus to meaning as a basis for helping students build a foundation for effective lifelong learning and application. The book also provides a much-needed survey of current and possible future uses of AI in education. In identifying key issues facing the field, it invites educators to lead the way in reorienting education for this new age and answering fundamental questions about teaching and learning.

“As AI continues its march into many aspects of our lives, including learning, ethical frameworks developed by cooperative groups of interdisciplinary professionals, policymakers, community members, educators and learners will be critical for assessing the risks, benefits and challenges of living in a world embedded with algorithms and AI,” said my colleague Jason Swanson. He joined the city of Pittsburgh in a recent exploration about what AI might mean for their community.

In Pittsburgh, our most recent forecast on the future of learning, Navigating the Future of Learning, helped frame those conversations. The forecast explores an overarching of an era shift driven by exponential advances in digital technologies, as well as by five drivers of change that include:

  • Automating Choices: AI and algorithms are automating many aspects of our lives.
  • Civic Superpowers: Engaged citizens and civic organizations are seeking to rebalance power.
  • Accelerating Brains: People have increasing access to tools and insights that are reshaping our brains in intended and unintended ways.
  • Toxic Narratives: Outdated and misaligned systems and metrics of success are contributing to chronic health issues, including rising rates of mental illness among children.
  • Remaking Geographies: Communities are working to remake themselves in the face of deep transitions.

The Automating Choices driver is the jumping off point for exploring the implications of AI.

Nothing in our forecast exists independent of other research and work. The drivers of change combine multiple trends, patterns, plans and developments to identify broad patterns of change. Artificial Intelligence in Education takes a deep dive into one aspect of Automating Choices. For people and communities interested in exploring AI, using this book alongside the forecast can help lead to rich conversations.

In Navigating the Future of Learning, you will discover how current trends could impact learning ten years from now and consider ways to shape a future where all students can thrive.