What Does AI Look Like for Education in 2018?

In part one of a three-part mini series, Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, explains technologies that are changing education and the future workforce.

by / March 22, 2018

This is part one of a three-part mini-series.

Everywhere we look in education today, we hear talk about artificial intelligence (AI). If you visit the Getting Smart website, you will find an abundance of articles, series and reports on artificial intelligence and how it will likely impact education.

When asked about AI, Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, said, “for the last two years I’ve been studying the impacts of artificial intelligence. We’ve looked not just at education but really at the economy and at ethics as well. The outcome is that we believe that artificial intelligence, or code that learns, is the most important invention in human history. And as a result, it’s the most important driver for change for us that will be really important in shaping the lives and livelihoods of young people today. When I realized this, in 2016, I noticed that there had never been a school that was having this conversation. And if, on one hand you believe that that it is the most important thing happening on planet earth, and on the other hand, it’s not part of the American education conversation, it’s something to be concerned about.”

This concern caused Vander Ark to do something about helping those in education understand AI and the implications it will likely have on the future of learning. “We launched a campaign called Ask About AI to try to encourage people to begin to have the conversation about what’s happening, he said. “We’re excited that many others have gotten on the bandwagon, and the general media is picking up the number of AI stories. It’s really hard to go through a day of general media without seeing a story about machine learning or machine intelligence and its implication.”

Vander Ark also mentioned that even though the media is reporting on AI more, “it’s still important to discuss the implications for two reasons: one is how can we make education better, and two, how we harness machine intelligence impacts what kids should know and be able to do.”

How do you think AI will transform education? Is it a conversation in your district?

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Susan Gentz Contributing Writer
Susan is passionate about transforming education for every student and works on content for the Center for Digital Education. She loves policy, running and biking, and is a proud Iowa native.