Technology has come a long way by changing the world of work and reshaping the fashion in which we perform our tasks. New technological advancements are exerting significant impact in all sectors including education system. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the major emerging technologies that hold the flair to revolutionize our lives.
We are reaching a new tipping point with the development of AI that will allow us to unlock new sets of applications in real-life. This has given rise to the necessity of integrating AI in education to enable students to implement and reap the benefits of this cutting-edge technology.
With an exponential development in the field of artificial intelligence and growing adoption in all segments, the demand for AI professionals is also increased and is predicted to rise further at a rapid pace. According to a study conducted by Indeed.co, the average salary of AI certified professional is $110k a year in the U.S. We got a chance to converse with an accomplished researcher on the topic of how AI is redefining the education system in many parts of the world.
In an interview with Dr. Wolfgang Slany about the progress of artificial intelligence in all spheres of our life and the future opportunities for youth, the expert highlighted significant benefits of AI learning, especially for students. Dr. Wolfgang Slany is a professor of computer science at the Graz University of Technology, Austria, and also the inventor of the pocket code application.
With an impressive experience of over 25 years in research, he has profuse publications to his credit. The conversation of the AIWS Team with Dr. Wolfgang Slany is given below.
AIWS Team: How does AI fit into K12 STEAM education?
Dr. Wolfgang Slany: AI is a rapidly developing technology that already now permeates all aspects of society. For example, Google search is based on artificial neural networks modeled after biological neural networks and brains that have evolved over billions of years. The progress in AI is developing exponentially and thus will tremendously change our common future over the next decades.
It is of utmost and urgent importance that the next generations understand the dramatic implications of this life-changing technology on all levels. Skills and knowledge on AI will empower our youth to go beyond remaining mere consumers, and instead allow them to take part in the fantastic opportunities arising through AI (such as intelligent assistants), as well as understand the grave dangers posed by it (as in surveillance, political influencing, or AI-based military, all already in use today).
AIWS Team: Is this the right time for school students to learn AI?
Dr. Wolfgang Slany: AI can be used in projects of kids as soon as a language has been acquired. To understand AI and apply it in creative projects, a level of cognitive development is necessary that corresponds to the complexity of the task. With the right tools and taught in the right way, this can start very early.
Even toddlers can be empowered, with appropriate guidance and support, to create interactive systems based on AI, the best example is tangible robotics. With increasing age and corresponding cognitive development as well as an appropriate learning approach, any degree of AI involvement can be achieved.
AIWS Team: Is AI already part of our life?
Dr. Wolfgang Slany: AI is part of our everyday life already now. Search engines, photo tools, navigation systems, face and smile detection in our cameras, voice dictation, and much more are already built into everyone’s smartphones, and more AI-based technology is becoming ubiquitous every day.
AIWS Team: How will AI learning help with future careers and employability?
Dr. Wolfgang Slany: Knowledge and skills about AI will be fundamental for higher-level jobs and start-ups. Every part of the economy, be it a restaurant or a gym center, will soon take advantage of AI for a plethora of services that will make the difference between success and failure.
AIWS Team: Education then & now in the context of AI learning?
Dr. Wolfgang Slany: Education will tremendously benefit from AI in the immediate future. For instance, some schools already use AI-based recommendation engines to tailor curricular content and level to the learning progress of individual pupils. This will increasingly become important to optimize the acquisition of skills and knowledge in all academic fields.