Is AI The New ET, With Huge Potential For Education?

The popular chant “Change is the only constant” is passe now. Ephemeralization is the new ‘in thing’ now. Oops, Whassat!? This word characterises the technology of today –  changing so fast with ever increasing velocity. To demystify, the term  Ephemeralization actually means (referring to the technology) – “doing more and more with less and less until eventually, you can do everything with nothing”.

Guess what! We have come all the way from bulky huge machines with limited processing and computing power (yes, I am talking about the first computers) – to an amazing machine called the mobile phone in our pockets which has much more computing power. Don’t you think you are carrying super machines in our pockets now? May be!

Technology indeed has a mind of its own and it is evolving with tremendous acceleration. We are actually reaching a new height of technological evolution where machines are getting into our neural networks (nervous system), encrypting our deep learning – and this forms the nucleus of Artificial Intelligence, now called  AI partly with reverence and more so with apprehension.

Here is a quick and dirty ‘know-what’ about AI and a peek into what it can do for you.

Essentially Artificial Intelligence is a computer generated a system which performs normal tasks simulating or mimicking human intelligence. So don’t be surprised if you come across a system that can beat you in your favourite game like chess.

Though AI seems a distant technology yet you would be astonished to know that you are actually using it in your day to day life. For eg. when you give a voice command to your Google application to “show you the nearest Punjabi Restaurant” and you actually get a list of fooding joints near you. It’s AI working for you!

By now you would be wondering – “if so much technology is taking over, how secure is the job world”. Well ask yourself this question first – do you have the kind of processing speed and efficiency that an AI system demands. If the answer is “NO” then you need to work on your skill-set i.e. educate yourself. You will have to upgrade your skills to match the high paying job that automation will generate.

Aren’t we oblivious of the fact that if we want fast economic growth we need to initiate drastic changes in our education system? Introduce new technology!

The next question arises – Are we ready to integrate AI into the realms of education industry? And what will be the impact and challenges posed by AI on students?

Advocates of education world highly favour the fact that AI based technology should improve teacher-students interaction rather than posing a threat to replace teachers. In this way, AI will be a benefit for all the students like

  1. Providing one on one tutoring
  2. Additional Support
  3. Improve grading system
  4. Answering student queries
  5. Providing student feedback
  6. Eliminating hefty examinations every year
  7. Organising lesson plan
  8. Availing job driven training

While the potential is huge for personalised learning through AI system the challenges thrown up by this are equally massive as our privacy will be at stake. AI works by understanding human intelligence and system developers will have to keep an eye on AI as to where to draw the line between AI systems and humans. The education system should be worked upon at neuroscientific level – which only an AI system can achieve with utmost ease.

Next step would be to bridge the gap between how we learn and how the brain works Replacing rote learning to generative learning and interactive learning with the help of AI.

So as the English author Sir Kenneth Robinson ones said, Education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed.

Get ready to welcome AI – it is not an ET, ExtraTerrestrial but very much our own and with a huge potential for transforming education.

Avnish John
Deputy Manager
Digital Marketing Dept.
EMPI Business School.

Edited by
A.V. K. Murthy,
Professor Cum Co-ordinator (Library & Publications)
EMPI Business School

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