Blog: What is AI?
I know AI could be confusing and complicated. Most of us know it from science fiction movies (my favorite is Minority Report) or books (pick your favorite one). What we typically see in science fiction movies like Men in Black or Minority Report is really “general AI”. or AI that is similar or sometimes seems to be better than humans. Things like conceptual learning, common sense, planning, cross-domain thinking, creativity, self-awareness, emotions, and even reason. (We will go through these concepts and much more in our ReadyAI Program… Don’t worry) But hold it for a second, today’s technology is far from this type of so-called general AI.
Let me tell you what the buzz is about today and how companies are using it. You’re familiar with iPhone face recognition, which is AI technology so I’ll use another example here.
Where are we today?
What we have today, is more like, let’s call it “narrow AI”. A technology that takes in huge amounts of information from the typically specific area — loan repayment history or etc and using this information to make a decision in that specific case — in this case, whether to give someone a loan and — in the service of a specific goal — in this case maximizing profits for the lender. Banks and mortgage companies are beginning to use it now.
Let’s look at another example. It’s almost like thinking about excel or spreadsheet on steroids, so without programming and simply trained on big data. These types of tools can outperform us as human beings at some tasks. By the way, this is already incredibly helpful because this “narrow AI” is really fast, accurate, work around-the-clock and can be applied to many jobs, with huge economic benefits. As you can see, the more we learn more about today’s AI and how it is poised to change industries, jobs, and our everyday lives, the more we can anticipate the change. Isn’t this the real objective of education?
Without too much prediction, because we really don’t have a crystal ball, let’s briefly look at the future and what we can anticipate.
What will the future look like?
We really don’t know how far we are from the so-called “General AI”. We actually don’t know enough even to estimate it so why bother. To really get to “General AI” it requires humans to have many significant breakthroughs and it will take a while and we will leave it to real AI research institutions and scientists. By the way, we work with top research institutions in AI and we will be more than happy to introduce you to some really cool things and super cool individuals in the field of AI. They are really doing wonderful things.
Sooner than you think Artificial intelligence will be able to see, hear, observe and automate our lives. We must start the conversation in our classrooms. The more we learn and teach in classrooms today the less we fear.
AI and Your Classroom
We don’t claim to know everything about providing the best education for your students in the AI era. But we like to work with you so we can start the conversation. But it really starts with you and in your classroom.
AI displacement of jobs is really just starting but it will really speed up in the next five to ten years and a very good chance that the same students that are in your classroom will be affected by it.
For students that are still younger, perhaps in kindergarten, primary school or even middle school, career choices are far less important than developing critical thinking and creativity. We really believe teachers, parents and academic counselors should encourage curiosity and the pursuit of deeper understanding. It is all about asking why and why not.
After our many interactions we students, parents and teachers at WAICY. It is very clear for us that it is very very very important to have high emotional intelligence, which is frankly impossible for current AI technologies that we know. Our ReadyAI has also been focusing on learning empathy and sincere concern for others. Practice communication and persuasion, and teamwork. In today’s world, we need more of it.
For our high school and bit older students that are thinking about SAT and choice of college, it is important to point out to them certain types of jobs will be at risk. We would like to work with you to help steer them away from jobs that are clearly headed from elimination.
With ReadyAI not only we learn about very cool concepts in AI and what it is really good at. We also learn about AI weaknesses. So together we can encourage students to develop skills in areas where AI is weak like creativity, strategic thinking, learn new skills independently, dexterity and compassion/empathy. We will work with you to encourage them to go deep and start early.
Through WAICY we learned it is about helping students find their passion. Not all of them want to be computer scientists. WAICY also thought us passion is highly correlated with motivation and achievement. In the past year at ReadyAI, we learned from our students and the truth is doing something that students are passionate about are most likely to lead to a sustainable job, as well as a fulfilling life.
The truth is our today’s education system was not designed for the AI era. We don’t think it is likely to catch up quickly. WE NEED YOUR HELP. And we will work with you every step of the way to reach as many students as possible.