Why 2023 will be the year of AI education

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Artificial intelligence is not the future. It’s here today or has been for a long time – depending on who you ask. As we enter 2023, it’s not enough to say that 2023 is the “year of AI” – the past few years have all been the “year of AI”. I believe 2023 will be the year of AI education.

What is AI Education? I’ve written articles before about AI literacy and the need for everyone in the world to understand AI at some level. AI Education is the process of becoming AI Literate.

In recent years, we have seen a huge expansion of targeted AI education initiatives. In particular, a shortage of data scientists led to a major increase in data science programs and certifications, as well as tooling to support citizen data science, enabling anyone to build AI and data science models without code. However, the AI ​​education I’m referring to isn’t for data science specialists – it’s AI literacy for everyone.

Why is 2023 our breakthrough year for AI education? Let’s look at a few factors

  • ChatGPT, large language models and generative AI. Great language models have been with us for a few years now – doing everything from telling jokes to creating beautiful art. However, with the advent of the latest language models, these AIs can now be used to write documents, ask questions, generate new recipes, and pretty much anything else we can think of. Other types of generative AIs are used to generate medical images and creative art. This development means that AIs are now a valuable support tool for any task.
  • AI is in our homes, our cars and our phones, and the list goes on. AIs surround us every day. These devices learn about us, make decisions for us, and interpret and use our personal information in all sorts of non-obvious ways. As we go about our day, AIs decide everything from the best route to drive, to which movies to recommend to us, to what interest rates to get, and whether camera stores consider us risky.
  • AI education has entered K-12. The past year has seen a boom in AI programs in K-12, with books and programs aimed at students from elementary through middle school and high school. Teachers are introducing AI into their classrooms and students are doing projects at science fairs and building apps with AI.
  • The AI ​​laws (and lawsuits) have begun. This is a clear sign that technology is reaching the mainstream – society must deal with the positive and negative aspects of technology, with its laws racing to keep pace with the results. Governments are beginning to introduce AI frameworks – from the United States AI Bill of Rights to the European Union AI Act.
  • The ubiquity of AI technologies has made it necessary for institutions at all levels of society to make decisions about how to manage the AIs around them – whether it’s cities debating police use of facial recognition, or schools who decide whether students can use ChatGPT to write theses.

What does all this mean? AI isn’t just in our lives and homes (it has been for some time). We have now taken the next step – AI is now in all our jobs (whether we are lawyers, marketing managers, human resources specialists, nurses, teachers or schoolchildren). There are tools we can take advantage of, hazards we must navigate, and policies we must understand and implement.

The above factors show why 2023 should be the year of AI education, but how can we believe that will in fact become the year of AI education? I’m thinking of a few (albeit non-scientific) answers

  • I’ve seen a rapid growth of professionals from all fields wanting to understand “what this AI thing is”.
  • We see the start of the “AI-Enabled Practitioner”. An AI enabled practitioner is a person who is AI literate and uses their AI knowledge as needed in their work. The practitioner is a shift – AI is no longer the only domain of highly skilled computer scientists – AI training is now a requirement for everyone.
  • In conversations with hundreds of K12 teachers and school officials, it is almost unanimous that they and their students will benefit from greater uptake of AI understanding in their classrooms.

It’s 2023. Time to learn AI.