2020, the beginning of a technologically revolutionary era. Indeed, we have come a long way from defining our first computers with binary punches to voice-recognition now.
No one would have imagined the exponential lead emerging technologies have taken over time and that in a Pandemic situation like now, we would need it the most.
The COVID Pandemic that has caused us to stay home and practice distancing has been the deadliest of viruses humanity witnessed since long. The initial outbreak of Poliovirus had a similar impact.
Everything we love about civilisation is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilisation flourish like never before — as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial
Even after the creation of the vaccine, millions of people were left paralysed in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Africa. Reason being? A whole lot of villages in Africa were missed out which acted as potential hotspots despite which we can say polio has been completely eradicated today.
But how did this happen?
Monitoring the situation, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), partnered by Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation, discovered location tracking technology satellites, GPS, map tracking, and Machine Learning Algorithms which were put in use to extract data.
Once the data was extracted, it was structured, read, and detailed analysis showed the number of villages left out. Teams worked through them and the results are in front of us.
Though we have discovered no such approved vaccination for COVID yet (as of June 2020), even identifying potential hotspots to maintain a distance is an incredible step.
Data-scientists and bio-medical teams globally are working hand-in-hand to find COVID-19 hotspots and are analysing data to prepare location-wise resources and equipment needed.
Such situations make us realise how important learning AI and other Emerging Technologies are important and needed. Our thoughts dignified Alexa or Siri as the best AI products helping us out. But this is when actual technology is tested.
While the aforementioned use-cases are high-end, do we realise that this situation has given us blinks of revamping our whole educational system as well? Because the COVID situation has given us space to rely entirely on digital platforms.
Amazingly, according to FOSWAY, 59% of the educators found it difficult to adapt to the new digital learning curve. And only 21% understood the vitality of adaptation and went forward to levy new digital platforms and ways to teach students.
So, classroom knowledge has gone to all bends and cracks to reach out to students. But this is also an amazing time & opportunity to educate the kids more than classroom coaching which means moving from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) to STREAAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, AI, and Maths).
Source of curiosity
Children have always been a source of curiosity. Their fascination with technology is subjectified when they ask ‘How does Siri understand what we say’, ‘How do the lights turn on when we enter’ and many more. There is an inherent need to keep the children in pace with whatever is happening at an early stage.
To our amazement, children have taken the front-seat on learning and enforcing technology into action. Kids like Tanmay Bakshi, who started coding at the age of 11 has developed a keen interest in AI which is still an alien topic for many adults. And Samaira Mehta, founded Coderzbunny, to make an easy hand for kids to learn coding and data structuring.
But why would you think children need professional hands in building their skill set around AI?
Curiosity. When kids are shown a live-project through Virtual Reality sitting in their homes, they learn more practically. Even the traditional ways of learning have seen their decline while the top three skills that are being grasped the most are:
— Virtual Content
— Curated Content
— Mobile Learning
When kids are exposed to drone tech and monitor the signals waving to and fro, their analytical mind runs faster.
Children grasp the canonical factors easily and by the time they graduate, they are already embraced with ammunitions of reading and structuring the data, learning the curves, and implementing solutions just like Bill Gates and his foundation did.
If we had been prone to such a technological advancement early in our academic schedule, the situation could have been different.
It is not always about finding vaccines which indeed is a biomedical team task but curbing or restraining its effect boils down to management.
Just as polio was eradicated but took a long time, COVID might have been restrained if only we had all the right ML techniques in place.
And on the other hand, children are gaining potential knowledge in the form of artificially intelligent tools which is helping them to intricately reform their skill sets. Then why not start early and produce geniuses with the demand that is in perfect place?
We at GEMS Education, strongly believe that being future fluent is more valuable than being future proficient. Thus, at GEMS Dubai American Academy, we have addressed this very challenge by setting up our Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence.
The whole idea of the GEMS Centers of Excellence is to bridge the gap between K-12, Higher Education and Workforce to bring in the expert knowledge that exists in the industries right down to a school going student.
We have collaborations with local and global universities and industries in building new learning and developmental pathways allowing students to get exposed to the future skill sets and potential future jobs.
Everything we love about civilisation is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilisation flourish like never before — as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial.
— Sreejit Chakrabarty, Director — Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, GEMS Dubai American Academy. Twitter: @sreejitsocial