Recently I talked to a friend who used AI to reproduce photographs of famous people by giving AI camera parameters. The result was astonishing. He showed me high-resolution color photos of his great-grandmother based on old black and white weathered shots! Sooner than later we won't need to hire photographers for headshots or family portraits.
What about the future of education and our children? How can we prep them to be ready for the AI-infused future? Daycare centres and most schools are not embracing the change at the required pace. What can we do to direct them in the right direction?
I asked AI and here is what I found:
What hard and soft skills should we teach our children from an early age in the age of AI?
AI: One of the most important skills that should be taught to children is critical thinking. AI will be able to do complex calculations, find solutions and make decisions quicker than humans, but it won't be able to think critically or creatively on its own. We need to teach our children how to use their natural ability for creative problem-solving to stay ahead of the curve.
Should we teach kids creativity?
AI: Absolutely. Creative thinking is essential for problem-solving, and it's something that artificial intelligence can't replicate. We should encourage children to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to challenges. This could be through building projects, doing art, playing music or writing stories. Teaching kids creativity will help them develop the skills needed to succeed in a future world.
What about adaptability?
AI: Being able to change and respond quickly to new situations is an incredibly important skill for children navigating the digital age. As technology advances, kids will need to be able to understand how it works and adapt their strategies accordingly. We should help them learn how to make decisions based on the most up-to-date information available, as well as teach critical thinking skills so they can make informed decisions.
AI: Another important skill is collaboration and communication. As AI becomes more prevalent, it will be essential for children to know how to work with others to get the most out of their experience. This means teaching them how to collaborate effectively, communicate with one another, and negotiate solutions that benefit everyone involved.
Teaching children the importance of teamwork is paramount. Strong communication and collaboration are essential for success in a digital world, where more tasks than ever require people to work together across borders and cultures.
What about empathy and human connection?
AI: AI can help with certain tasks, but it is unlikely to ever replace the importance of human connection and empathy. The ability to recognize other people's emotions, show compassion, and resolve conflicts should be an essential part of their education. Teaching kids about empathy and respect for others will help them build relationships that contribute to their collective success in the future.
What careers will be prevalent in the future?
AI: It is impossible to predict the exact nature of future career paths, but it's safe to say that jobs requiring creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills will be in demand. Advancing technology has created new opportunities for innovative solutions to existing problems. Teaching children how to think creatively and combine different ideas can help them become successful professionals in the future.
Kids should also be encouraged to use technology for good, by engaging in activities such as coding, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Coding can be used to create apps and websites that are beneficial to society, while AI can help automate processes and enable machines to learn from data sets. Robotics offers a unique way of teaching kids problem-solving skills and computational thinking, both of which are essential in today’s ever-evolving technological landscape.
I agree with AI, critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence and adaptability are the skills we should focus on. I don't think it needs to be too complicated. As parents and educators, we can encourage children to be creative and inventive every day!
I will share my example...
Recently Brianna wanted to create an artwork with henna paste. Henna paste is used for temporary body art on human skin but she wanted to draw on a piece of paper. I let her experiment and she quickly learned that henna paste is very different from a marker or a paintbrush.
Henna paste has texture and needs to be squeezed under consistent pressure to create shapes. Brianna struggled and stumbled. Here we had a challenge and I let her figure it out.
This a very basic example of how we can encourage children to try a new skill, or medium, take advantage of an opportunity and take risks.
I think in today's ever so changing world infused with AI capabilities it is particularly important to prepare our children for the future. We need to teach them how to think critically and analyze a situation, work with machines, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. We have to help our children develop their creativity, problem-solving skills and emotional intelligence so they can work together with AI in a mutually beneficial union.