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Monday, February 13, 2023

Five Predictions for the Future of Learning in the Age of AI

Good, thoughtful piece ...

Five Predictions for the Future of Learning in the Age of AI      by Anne Lee Skates  in A16Z

AI, machine & deep learning  education  Education  Generative AI

When OpenAI released its chatbot ChatGPT last year, proponents were quick to announce the death of various writing-related fields, such as screenwriting, computer programming, and music composition. One particular field stood out as a sector that would feel the power of ChatGPT almost immediately: education. With ChatGPT’s technology, students can now easily cheat on papers and college admissions essays, while on the opposite end, teachers can outsource their curriculums to AI—and no one would be the wiser. 

But ChatGPT is hardly the end of education. Just as quickly as students started passing off the chatbot’s work as their own, new programs popped up to detect AI-written work, and teachers, looking to get ahead of their students, started integrating ChatGPT responses into their lesson planning. 

The truth is, if leveraged well, AI has the potential to greatly enhance students’ abilities to think critically and expand their soft skills. And for skeptics who are worried kids will stop learning basic skills, avoid practicing, and forget general facts if they can rely on an AI to answer for them, psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan posit in their self-determination theory that humans are intrinsically driven by autonomy, relatedness, and competence—that is, they will continue to learn regardless of any shortcuts thrown their way. The creation of Wikipedia is a great example. We didn’t stop learning history or science just because we could now quickly look up dates and formulas online. Instead, we simply gained an additional resource to help us fact-check and facilitate learning.

Seeing as education is one of AI’s first consumer use cases, and programs like ChatGPT are how millions of kids, teachers, and administrators will be introduced to AI, it is critical that we pay attention to the applications of AI and its implications for our lives. Below, we explore five predictions for AI and the future of learning, knowledge, and education.

1. The one-on-one model goes mainstream 

Getting one-on-one support for services like tutoring, coaching, mentorship, and even therapy was once only available to the well-off. AI will help democratize these services for wider audiences. In fact, Bloom’s 2 sigma problem—which found that students who received one-on-one teaching performed two standard deviations better than children in a traditional classroom—has a solution now. AI can potentially act as a live tutor for anyone, with humans supplementing the AI to provide in-depth knowledge and emotional and behavioral support. Academic tool Numerade, for example, recently released an AI tutor, Ace, that can generate personalized study plans, curating the right content depending on students’ skill levels.   .....   (four more predictions follow) 

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