Votes of No Confidence

Photo by  Eric Ward  on  Unsplash

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Northeastern University and Gallup recently teamed up for a survey and a report titled "Optimism and Anxiety: Views on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Higher Education's Response."

In an age of exponential change, here are some sobering statistics:

  • Only 22% of Americans with a bachelor's degree or higher level of education say their college or university studies prepared them well or very well to work with AI.
  • Only 18% of this group are extremely confident that they could secure the education needed to obtain a comparable job should they lose their current position to advances in new technology.
  • Only slightly more than half--53%--of this group feels confident that they could find a comparable job if they were to be displaced by AI.

This vote of no confidence in higher ed is the symptom.  So what is the disease?

For the last 30 years a huge gap has opened between jobs requiring routine cognitive skills and jobs requiring non-routine interpersonal and non-routine analytical skills.

WEF skills.png

What best prepares learners for a world of non-routine interpersonal and non-routine analytical work?

Ask learners to use what they know to solve problems, in teams, with imagination and empathy.

For the foreseable future, artificial intelligence will not be able to do this kind of work.

And if we're smart, we will help learners to see AI as a member of their teams, not a rival to avoid.

If we wait until college to teach this, it's already too late.


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Christian Talbot