February 12, 2019 Elizabeth Song

How does AI affect Education and the Workforce?

Elizabeth Song

Can AI really replace us?
Credit : gcn.com

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a recent technological discovery, surrounding the idea of machine intelligence. Already, AI is powering new technology around the world. But with this new rise of technology, AI has been impacting the one of the important ways of society, education and jobs.

Recent worries are prominent about this new technology effecting the workplace. Innovative designs may allow robots and programs to be able to take over several different positions. Furthermore, these “workers” do not require pay or school education, making it a more favorable choice.

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawkings have all voiced opinions on their fears on an AI-run workplace. Statistics may worrying the world by mentioning the loss of jobs due to AI.

Statistics surrounding jobs that may be replaced by AI robots
Credit: ZDNet

However, recent studies show that though this technology may effect the workplace, it will not influence it dramatically. AI relies on humans as much as humans rely on this technology. Though AI does learn, humans are needed to teach machines as well.

In relation, there were worries that ATMs would replace bank tellers. However, this was highly untrue! Innovating the banks to include ATMs actually lowered the cost of operating a bank, opened more job opportunities, and led to better customer service.

Similarly, AI would operate in the same way! The technology would innovate the workplace, allowing the company to save money and hire more workers.

Furthermore, the jobs that AI are most likely to replace are those that require human connection, involving problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and creativity. For jobs including these such “soft skills”, AI will not impact as much.

Another question to ponder about is: how does AI affect education? As technology slowly incorporates itself into school policies and daily classes, how can this discovery lead us to change in schools?

As mentioned before, AI targets jobs involving “soft skills”. As the ever-changing job market expands, school education will focus on jobs that involve problem-solving and critical thinking rather than adding and subtracting. Kids will become more well-rounded students, developing skills that they will need, whatever career they choose after school.

As AI makes more progress, students will also be focused more on the STEM subjects in school. Training the next generation of students for the workforce will be another challenge, but one that can be easily fixed through more scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematical focuses.

“K-12 education should prioritize teaching critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork across subject areas. Teaching students to become analytical thinkers, problem solvers, and good team members will allow them to remain competitive in the job market even as the nature of work changes.”

Elizabeth Mann Levesque, brookings.edu

AI won’t be so bad for entrepreneurs either. New startups focusing on how AI and educations can be created that can grow into huge companies. Look at IBM Watson, famous for its deep thinking and learning skills. Like these companies that have made significant discoveries, new business ideas will bloom.

So can we assume that AI isn’t so bad for the world after all?