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Monday, January 20, 2020

Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

In future, there would be no need to go to universities for routine Bachelor and Master Degrees. Read on to know the whys and hows!

Prof. (Dr.) Madan Mohan Pant

Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU

(Prof MM Pant can be reached at mmpant@gmail.com)

Education in the Age of Artificial IntelligenceSo drawing upon various ideas that are being proposed my own views on educating humans in the age of AI is to make all students confident lifelong learners by the time they are 18 years of age, and most of them have finished formal schooling. There would be no need to go to Universities for routine Bachelor and Master Degrees. Those really passionate about academic research would join special groups of their interest and begin their journey as interns, acquiring the requisite credentials on their way to a journey of becoming an expert in their chosen field; perhaps an ecole 42 model with Professors as well.

The educational journey of 18 years should result in the right abilities at its end. So when a learner is ready to leave School, he or she should be able to : read (English) with comprehension and speed, be a keen observer, be able to visualise, draw and have a well developed imagination, make things with own hands (bricolage and maker), be curious and ask good questions, enjoy abstraction in Mathematics even if cannot make mental calculations or with pen/pencil and paper, critical Thinking, creative thinking, Computational Thinking, Deferred gratification; Developing a growth mindset ; Grit; Developing a Sense of humour; Developing Conversational Intelligence, Developing Cognitive Flexibility; Learning from MOOCs, YouTube and other Internet resources, awareness of emerging technologies, information fluency.

It is obvious that all these abilities cannot be acquired over a short period of time, over the last few years of schooling. All the early years are also very important.

The first stage is at about 5 years, when the child is ready to go to school. During the first 5 years, the role of the parents is very important. The home is the first School of the child and the mother’s lap is the first classroom. One can easily see that many of the attributes listed earlier, can and should be developed in the first 5 years before starting School.

The next stage is after about 5 years of schooling. There is a very famous book that has sold in millions by Robert Fulghum with the title “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. And then there is a need for review at the end of class 8. Between these stages a child should have significant flexibility in its progress rather than rigid standards of subject-wise achievement every year. During this journey let every learning intervention be such that it promotes personalisation, mastery learning and the development of an autonomous self-directed lifelong learner.

Professor Aeoun proposes that just as the field of Robotics is creating a very advanced class of Machines, the above ideas describe a new discipline ‘humanics’ to nurture our species’ unique traits of creativity and flexibility, to prepare us for a future where skilled humans work in harmony with intelligent machines.

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