What Higher Education Can Teach Business Leaders About AI
Kent Ingle is president of Southeastern University, author of several leadership books and host of the Framework Leadership podcast.getty
When movies like The Terminator and I, Robot were released, a world dominated by artificial intelligence (AI) may have seemed like an elusive dream. Yet, today, it feels as if we are edging closer to it becoming a reality.
The last decade saw the introduction of the first humanoid AI robot, Sophia, (who has since earned citizenship to Saudi Arabia) and the disruption of tools like ChatGPT and Bard to academia. Slowly, AI has revolutionized our daily lives—from how we communicate with one another to how we enjoy entertainment in our homes.
While AI is at the forefront of Education discussions, it's also becoming a prevalent conversation and resourceful tool in the workplace. According to a Forbes Advisor survey, "Almost all (97%) business owners believe ChatGPT will help their business." Some of the popular applications of how AI is being used in businesses today include customer service (56% of those in the survey) and cybersecurity and fraud management (51%).
AI is revolutionizing how leaders operate their organizations. As the president of a university that is navigating the new territories of ChatGPT, I've seen correlations between how to approach AI in the workplace and education.
Here are three examples of what I have learned in higher education that can be applied to how you lead your teams.1. Champion critical thinking.
In the academic world, there is an ongoing discussion about how AI tools like ChatGPT could impede a student's ability to develop soft skills like critical thinking. With a click of a button, AI solves mathematical equations and drafts papers, eliminating a student's discovery process for problem-solving, research and analysis of information.
Soft skills are crucial for a student to flourish when they graduate and enter the workforce. But developing critical thinking doesn't need to be left to the classroom, it can also be learned in the office.
How do you make room for critical thinking in the workplace? Set aside time for your team to collaborate on initiatives and offer solutions to an issue. Provide employees with tasks to create something from an idea and then present it to the entire team. Engage in discussions about goals that enhance your organization's mission and ask your team to draft the steps to take. Extend critical thinking into how employees use AI. If they use AI to craft emails or analyze data, make sure they evaluate and edit the information.
Remember to leave room for your team to make mistakes and take risks without repercussions. By giving employees these types of responsibilities, you teach them how to make decisions, solve complex problems, identify solutions and learn to communicate their findings.2. Value human relationships.
Everything we do in life, especially in the workplace, centers on relationships. While you can train AI to think, it lacks human attributes like empathy and emotional intelligence. It can learn the right things to say or write, but it can't feel like humans do. Although AI is essential to staying competitive in the marketplace, you can't diminish the value of human relationships.
One of the most significant investments your team members can make is not the work they do but the people they spend time with. Learning to cultivate more profound and meaningful relationships will unlock the potential for your team to learn about themselves, equip others and discover the power of collaboration. Continue to utilize AI tools to better your team, but remind them of the importance of forming personal relationships with others—whether it's in your organization, with other professionals or with your client base.
For example, in higher education, we teach our students the importance of connections. The relationships they build are essential to their future success in their careers. Whether it's through finding mentors or networking with individuals in their field of study, we encourage them to surround themselves with positive people who can help them grow and develop. And it should be the same in the workplace.3. Approach AI as a tool.
AI taking over jobs is at the forefront of some people's thoughts. A recent Goldman Sachs report revealed that AI could impact 300 million jobs, and 7% of jobs could be completely replaced. Resistance to innovative technology is often due to the fear of it displacing workers, taking away parts of their responsibilities or having to overcome a learning curve.
Instead of focusing on how it will disrupt the workforce, embrace AI to enhance your team members' roles and increase their productivity. AI can be used to make work more efficient by generating automated responses to customers, summarizing copious amounts of data, translating information and producing content. With every member of your team, take the time to discover and show them how AI can help them succeed.
At our university, we developed a course for undergraduate students that discusses how they can use AI as a tool for academic success. We recognize that AI isn't going anywhere, so we want to help students use it to add value to their educational journey. AI in every aspect—whether the workplace or classroom—can be viewed as a tool to enhance someone's life without them losing the value of who they are and what they can accomplish.
The next time you head into a meeting ready to propose the newest AI tool to help your team, take a pulse of the room and understand how your team truly feels about it. Be ready to discuss your team's concerns about AI.
What I have learned in higher education is that you will have people who are eager to use AI and others who are just trying to make it through the semester without having to learn something new. While AI tools are incredible resources, they can't replace the value of investing in the people on your team.
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Revolutionizing K-12 Education: The Power Of AI Homework Companions
Thomas Lim is the COO of Technicorum Holdings, a Web 3.0 Coach & Dean with Thrive Consulting and Master Trainer: PEARLS Coaching Framework.getty
Technology has permeated every aspect of our lives in today's world of rapid change, altering industries and how we approach daily chores. Education is no exception, as a new era of individualized learning experiences is being ushered in by the creative application of artificial intelligence (AI). One compelling case in point is the use of AI homework companions in K-12 education, a revolutionary approach that is redefining how students learn and educators teach.
Imagine a bustling tuition center, where dedicated educators strive to provide the best learning support to students ranging from primary to high school levels. In such an environment, catering to each student's individual needs can be a monumental challenge. However, I believe this challenge has met its match with the incorporation of AI homework companions. Let's delve into a real-world use case that showcases the advantages of this transformative technology.Tailoring Learning Experiences With AI Homework Companions
Meet my client "Tuition Center A," a proponent of quality supplemental education where every student's success is the goal. Having a growth and innovative mindset, Client A embraced an AI-enabled solution to create a more engaging and effective learning experience for its students. As traditional methods struggled to cater to diverse learning paces and styles, Client A is powering ahead with an AI homework companion to personalize each student's learning journey.
Such a companion is not just a mere bot; it should be conceived of as a digital ally that adapts to the unique needs of every student through a personalized recommendation engine. At Client A, educators collaborated with an AI integrator to customize the system, enabling it to understand student strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences. It also incorporated some coaching elements within the project.
One functionality that I proposed is coaching for team brainstorming. The AI engine was able to simultaneously engage a small group of students in facilitating a discussion about a certain topic and rate the contribution of individual students in that brainstorming session. Being able to conduct a round-robin—or what I prefer to term "daisywheel coaching"—added a new dimension to the dynamics of student participation in both online and in-class engagement.
The process commenced with the AI companion ingesting educational content from various subjects, meticulously breaking down concepts and offering explanations in an interactive manner. The content is pulled, rather than pushed, by the AI engine. It is available 24/7 and makes for a companion beyond the confines of my client's physical premises.Personalized Learning, The AI Way
One of the most significant advantages an AI homework companion can offer is the ability to deliver personalized learning paths for students. For Client A, students were greeted with tailored assignments that aligned with their academic levels and areas that required improvement "off session." While in class everyone does the same drill, the assignments for the students outside of class can be different. This hybrid approach helps ensure that every student receives targeted practice and reinforcement, optimizing their learning process.
Mathematics, science and language arts often present intricate challenges for students. With the AI homework companion, students can explore complex topics with ease. The companion utilizes natural language processing to provide detailed explanations, clarifying doubts and demystifying intricate concepts. Whether it is helping solve algebraic equations or comprehending scientific theories, the AI companion can serve as an ever-present guide. A media content management system was implemented to provide videos and images where appropriate to augment the learning engagement.Data-Driven Insights For Educators
As students interacted with the companion, a wealth of data was generated. My clients found themselves obtaining insights into individual learning patterns, strengths and areas of struggle where it was not possible beforehand. This data empowered the tutors to provide targeted interventions and support, closing learning gaps effectively. The companion's real-time analytics enabled educators to track progress, make informed decisions and celebrate milestones.
Its impact extended beyond the center's walls. Students were no longer solely reliant on educators for clarifications; they embraced the independence to explore concepts at their own pace. This newfound autonomy cultivated a deeper understanding of subjects and encouraged critical thinking—a skill crucial for their academic journey and beyond.
Parents received useful feedback on their child's learning journey, enabling them to offer tailored support at home. A similar approach with tools like these can inform and align all stakeholders toward the common goal of the student's path toward excellence.Paving The Path Forward
As the world of education continues to evolve, this client case stands as a testament to the power of AI tools like these. The advantages reaped—personalized learning, data-driven insights, independent exploration and collaborative engagement—highlight the vast potential of AI to transform K-12 education.
Many educators worldwide are recognizing the need to embrace AI as an ally in education. Perhaps this client's story can serve as an example and inspiration, illuminating the way forward for educational institutions eager to provide students with an edge in the digital age. As the educational landscape evolves, the integration of AI is poised to create a generation of empowered learners ready to conquer the challenges of tomorrow.
In the grand tapestry of education, AI-enabled companions are weaving a new narrative—one of personalized learning, innovation and boundless opportunity. The transformative journey of K-12 education is at the cusp of a breakthrough, and when educators and policymakers put their collective minds to it, the future of education looks set to be one heralding a new age of cognitive development in students in the years to come.
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Next-generation AI Education
Article by Erica K. Brockmeier Illustration by Joy Smoker October 12, 2023
"In an era marked by remarkable technological advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) stands as a transformative force reshaping numerous industries. From healthcare and finance to transportation and education, the influence of AI has become pervasive, revolutionizing the way we work, live and interact with the world around us."
The text above was generated by Chat GPT-3.5, a large language model chat bot developed by OpenAI, when prompted to draft an introduction for this article. It's just one example of how AI is indeed "revolutionizing how we work, live and interact with the world" and highlights the importance of having a workforce that can understand, develop and apply AI tools.
Now, as of this fall, students can gain these essential AI skills at the University of Delaware. Thanks to a new graduate certificate in artificial intelligence program, students will be able to take advanced AI courses in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences to obtain the knowledge and experience they need to excel in careers across a variety of fields.'At the forefront of research and innovation'
Associate Professor Sunita Chandrasekaran and Professor Kathy McCoy, the AI graduate certificate's program directors, state that this new certificate is designed to provide students with the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue careers in AI research, development and application development.
"The skills and experiences acquired through this certificate program not only prepare students for job opportunities, but also set them on a path for long-term success in the rapidly evolving field of AI," they added.
Students who meet the admissions criteria can earn this certificate by completing nine credits of graduate-level courses in computer science, with course offerings including computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing and multi-agent systems.
Upon successfully completion, this certificate program provides the tools to analyze and use appropriate AI techniques to address complex computational problems; understand data set preparation and implementation for complex problem-solving; design, implement and evaluate a variety of AI-based solutions; use effective professional communication; and make informed AI-related judgements using legal and ethical principles.
Chandrasekaran and McCoy added that UD's computer science department in particular is "a great place for students to learn about AI." Not only does the department have a successful track record of teaching and research in the field of AI (and whose undergraduate program moved up in the latest U.S News and World Report rankings), it is also the home of a "team of experts in AI domains who are at the forefront of research and innovation in the field," they said.
"The department offers an exceptional learning environment, combining expert faculty, cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary collaboration and extensive resources to prepare students for successful careers in the field of AI," Chandrasekaran and McCoy added.Unlocking unique opportunities
Students who are enrolled in this certificate program will also have access to a number of AI-related resources offered by the University of Delaware AI Center of Excellence (AICoE), which supports AI research, collaborations and application development across campus. This includes unique seminars and speaker series about AI, the ability to participate in collaborative research projects, workshops and hackathons, and access to specialized research resources and computing infrastructure. Chandrasekaran and McCoy serve as co-directors of the center.
This graduate certificate program is currently available to both prospective and current graduate students as well as currently enrolled undergraduates. Similar to how UD's 4+1 programs work, undergraduates are also able to enroll in this certificate program and, upon completion of the required coursework, graduate with both a bachelor's degree and graduate certificate.
Chandrasekaran and McCoy added that there are future plans to teach introductory courses for students who are interested in AI but may not have the technical knowledge required to directly enroll in this program.
"We are in the process of developing bridge courses that would provide the background necessary to take the courses in the AI certificate. We hope to be able to offer the course in the summer of 2024," they said.
For current and prospective students who are interested in learning about this new certificate program, along with learning more about the other graduate programs and research opportunities available at UD, the College of Engineering is hosting a graduate program and research information session on Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.M.
This virtual event will highlight all of UD Engineering's graduate level offerings, including graduate certificates and master's and Ph.D. Programs, and will provide information on how graduate training in engineering and computer science disciplines can unlock a wide range of career opportunities.
To learn more about this AI certificate and other graduate programs in UD's College of Engineering, register now for the graduate programs and research information session on Zoom.