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: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/online-trending-now/2020s-decade-ai-and-quantum