Artificial Intelligence in Education:

AInEd : Artificial Intelligence in  Education

………the answer to implementation challenges of the NEP 2019

The draft new education policy has had a long gestation period. Its latest draft version is in the public domain since October 2019, and numerous conferences, seminars and workshops have been convened that have  deliberated on the document. But it seems it has still not been approved by the cabinet. 

Six years on from the announcement of the intention to have a new education policy, is a lot of time wasted for such an urgent matter. 

Even some of those who hail the draft new education policy 2019 as a progressive measure in the right direction, are sceptical about its implementation. 

The new education policy 2019 draws attention to the importance of learning first in its very first page at the third paragraph :0.3. Indeed, with the quickly changing employment and global ecosystem, it is becoming increasingly important that children not only learn, but learn how to learn. 

It is again mentioned in its para 4.5. “The key overall thrust of curriculum and pedagogy reform across all stages will be to move the education system towards real understanding and learning how to learn.”

In para 23.8 it is acknowledged that this policy has been formulated at a time when an unquestionably disruptive technology – Artificial Intelligence (AI) -has emerged. 

We are in the midst of two major disruptive revolutions: the 4th Industrial Revolution and the fourth education revolution. 

Whether it is the draft central education policy awaiting finalisation or the self-acclaimed initiatives of the Delhi Government, both are out of tune with the reality facing our youth.

Without beating about the bush, I wish to suggest that it is Artificial Intelligence and allied emerging technologies that provide the answer to the upcoming challenges. 

To illustrate my point, let me refer to a fundamental transformation in a specific domain of education, that happened in India about 60 years back. Engineering education was already happening in India when the IITs were created. But the 5 IITs transformed the erstwhile engineer with a slide rule to the engineer who programmed digital computers, and in due course moved on to CAD/CAM as a consequence. And they prospered and flourished in the 3rd Industrial Age of Information Technology. Today as we transform the  young who are in the later stages of School, who are coming of age in the fourth Industrial Age, we must equip them to prosper, flourish and thrive in the age of Intelligent machines. IIT orientation began just after finishing School. Sixty years later, with learners being digital natives, we can begin their transformation while at School, without spending those two valuably years in coaching programs of various kinds. They can be directly introduced to and have hands on experience in AI, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing and other emerging technologies. 

We are now in a position to develop a whole new generation of young who do not pursue meaningless higher education,whose benefits are not clear, but become active self-directed lifelong learners, who can take charge of their lives and have evolved in readiness for the VUCA ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) future before them. These digital natives transcend being job seekers and passive consumers of digital content, but are ready with creative ideas to launch enterprises with innovative ideas that propel India to more than a $5 trillion economy. 

The key constituents of an AI-empowered educational ecosystem are the following: 

  • The AI-fluent SmartEducator
  • The AI powered autonomous Learner
  • Recommender and content personalisation systems
  • Chatbots to assist both educators and learners
  • Co-learning spaces and emerging technologies experience centres
  • AI enabled assessment systems
  • Blockchain for academic credentials 

I have described the AI-fluent SmartEducator in a previous blog dated January 10th 2020. The other constituents will be elaborated in upcoming blogs. Watch this space!

Even as we prepare ourselves for the age of Artificial Intelligence, the era of Quantum Computing is upon us a dit could eventually revolutionize the way medicines are developed, financial options are priced and climate change is managed, experts say. It’s been lauded for its ability (or, at least, its potential) to complete complex calculations in a fraction of the time that it would take even the fastest traditional computers today. 

Microsoft in November announced that it would start providing access to Quantum Computers in its Azure cloud. A month later, Amazon Web Services announced a similar service.  IBM has offered quantum computing access in its cloud since 2016.

Google in October 2019 announced that  it had achieved “ Quantum Supremacy” with a machine capable of superfast calculations, a claim that competitors quickly challenged. Google has also said it is working on providing access to quantum computers on its cloud.

Here is the link to a very interesting article that anticipates how the coming decade will roll out:

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
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