AI trends in education and the workforce you need to know in 2023

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The field of artificial intelligence is evolving so fast that almost every industry is affected seemingly overnight.

The impact of AI on education in particular, from K-12 to adult education, has been written about for years, but it has officially gone mainstream as instructors and students everywhere now have free access to the technology through ChatGPT.

To better understand how technology is impacting education and how best to prepare for the spread of AI from the classroom to the workplace, we attended one of the largest education technology conferences in the country, the ASU + GSV Summitto hear directly from the people creating and influencing this technology, such as Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (creator of ChatGPT), Bill Gates, and higher education leaders.

Here’s what you need to know.

Since ChatGPT became available to everyone in November 2022, it has been adopted faster than any software tool in history, with over 100 million users to date (when founder Sam Altman was asked how many users it now has, he couldn’t give a specific number because it grows so fast).

With this viral growth, the tool almost immediately began to permeate households and classrooms with students using the tool to answer difficult homework questions and take home tests in a way that would have taken hours of research with Google Search in the past.

Since the AI ​​tool is generativewith a few well-crafted prompts and some background information, you can ask it to write an essay or a book report, and it will generate unique written content in seconds.

With that, concerns about cheating became top of mind for teachers and AI detection tools to try and deter it quickly became available.

When asked at the Summit what he thinks educators need to do to respond quickly to the AI ​​revolution, Sam Altman tried not to downplay concerns about cheating, but focused on the positive impact on the classroom, such as the ability for students to learn faster than ever by quickly accessing the specific information they want explained in a way that is most useful to them, and the ability to support struggling students at scale by using the platform as a personalized tutor .

The main takeaway for educators is that we can’t stop students from using these tools because they are transformative for learning, and the most savvy educators learn how to implement them in the classroom and spend time familiarizing themselves with the capabilities of tools such as ChatGPT to provide specific guidance to students on how to use them in performing their work.

When calculators were invented, people were afraid that students would stop using their brains to do math, but what really happened is that students could do math faster, so they could learn more advanced principles in a shorter amount of time. Similarly, AI should help students better understand how to create compelling essays or answers to homework questions, so they can spend their time thinking more creatively and complexly.

For example, when Bill Gates was asked what he is most excited about about AI technology given his foundation’s work in supporting educational outcomes globally, he focused on how useful the technology will be in helping children learn to read.

In the past, it would have been difficult for one teacher to provide adequate attention and consistent feedback to 20 children learning to read. However, with this new technology, systems are already being developed that can listen to a child read and provide feedback and a positive reinforcement loop in the process so that they can work through mistakes and feel good about doing things right.

This kind of personalization at scale simply wasn’t possible in the past.

What about the impact of AI on the workforce and helping adults prepare for the changes ahead?

One question that came up at the summit is how someone entering the workforce today should prepare given the AI ​​revolution that is here.

The founder of OpenAI expressed skepticism about making predictions about the impact on the workforce, stating that throughout history, most people who predicted the impact of technology on jobs have been wrong.

It is almost impossible to predict which new jobs will be created in the coming years. Just a few years ago, it was thought that especially manual workers such as truck drivers would be affected by AI first and that creative work such as art and writing would be safe. Nobody expected that AI tools like ChatGPT, Dall-E and AIVA could write articles, generate visual art and even make music in the style of popular artists.

Altman’s advice was to become as familiar as possible with the new technology, get a native feel for it by using it in your day-to-day work, and be prepared for the high level of change ahead.

A quote shared at the education summit was “AI won’t replace you, but a person who uses AI will.”

Many human resources experts see these new tools as a powerful human enhancement, and just as the advent of computers and then the internet made people a lot more efficient, and largely left people who refused to learn how to use computers, AI will probably do the same , but at an even faster pace.

The CEO of OpenAI shared the view that for adult learners deciding what to study to prepare for work, it is more important to focus on what you are naturally curious about and good at, and how you want to contribute to the world, rather than how to choose an education that best prepares you for the future.

AI will probably affect almost every field healthcareUnpleasant movieso focus on learning how to use the technology in any area that interests you and you’ll be in a good place when you launch or change your career.

Throughout human history, be it the agricultural revolution, the rise of the industrial revolution, or the invention of the internet, the development of new processes and technology has certainly reshaped the world, destroying jobs that were based on older inefficient ways of things to do, and created new jobs that were previously unthinkable. Gradually, there was a fear that technology would make people complacent and lose their purpose.

In reality, what technology usually does is make people even more ambitious than before, and enable them to achieve those ambitions faster. People want to be useful and inventive, and chances are AI’s biggest impact on education will be an exponential impact on how quickly we can learn, and an ability to apply that learning to change our lives for the better.