Nurturing beyond AI

Teachers and parents have their work cut out to shape our kids for an AI world.

Children are the future. Shaping them, along with their parents, are their teachers. But when Sophia, the world’s first humanoid, grabbed headlines three years back, it threw a challenge to the teachers of today.

Among the various areas where Sophia could be of use, forecast by creator Hanson Tech, education was one.

Artificial intelligence (AI), of which Sophia is one of the finest examples, is permeating every sphere in our lives. Its expanding reach is shrinking the scope for human employment, through automation. Teachers could soon find themselves replaced by AI.

IBM’s AI tech, Watson, is famed for being able to beat human intelligence. AI’s appeal lies in being super-fast with 100 per cent accuracy, an enormous memory and malfunctioning that is logically deducible, unlike a capricious human temper.

People will have to come up with new ways to add value to their profession to stay on the top. Science fiction had predicted the shift and we are living to see it.

Of course, AI is, in a way, flawless. Yet, life’s many challenges are overcome by the agile human brain. It might lack a machine-like accuracy and predictability but their absence is what makes it's working so mysterious and amazing. If humans had a robotic circuit for a brain, they would not have been able to think up of AI in the first place!

The guardian’s role, as a result, has become more important than ever. Students will only know how to move beyond the mechanical, replaceable jobs, into the realm of true imagination and innovation, if they are led by example.

Hence, teachers will be indispensable because they can be innovative and hands-on like no AI can.

Rather than learning by rote, their students can discover the sheer joy of experiencing what they are being taught. Only then kids of today will go on to become the masters of AI and remain ever relevant in the workforce.

Sure, an AI system working with Python’s NLP (Natural Language Processing) can be a great tutor, repeatedly answering questions from students. But it won’t be able to empty a jar of fireflies for a first-grader, to explain the science behind the beauty.

A class filled with preschool kids

Creativity will be considered as the most valued leadership skill in the future. Abounding knowledge will be available at everyone’s fingertips thanks to pervasive AI personal assistants.

Children of today will be required to solve problems which we cannot even foresee yet. No wonder then, massive organisations such as Google already shun GPAs.

Parents should complement the professional teacher’s role in instilling creativity. When our children return from school with 50 per cent of the best grade, do not look at it as a failure. The biggest factor for childhood success today is not a child’s IQ but the support she receives.

I will leave you with Kahlil Gibran’s words:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…

By: Joyeeta Mukherjee

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


Sujoy Mukherjee said…
True story! A primary reason behind the success of AI/ML is their ability to adapt to the needs of people. Customization is one of the most popular notions of the modern era. For example, if we are a fan of a particular genre of music, we prefer our Youtube homepage to be filled with music videos from that genre. However, this prevents us from listening to music from other genres which we might have liked.

Customization limits us from exploring different things and if we succumb to AI, we will lose the best thing about us: diversity.
Quotidian Tales said…
Indeed diversity is one of the greatest strengths of the human race. We are training AI s. Before we handover all our strengths to them, we should further cultivate our own selves to remain ahead of them.
Anonymous said…
This summarizes this blog "Creativity will be considered as the most valued leadership skill in the future."

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