Artificial intelligence technology will positively impact the nature of education

The integration of AI into our classrooms will benefit both students and teachers and is a very real possibility for the future

Present day technology has completely revolutionized and changed the way we live day-to-day. From touch screen phones to self-driving cars, advances in technology have transformed our lives and are rapidly evolving. It seems as though shows like "Black Mirror" are becoming more realistic than we think.

Universities like ASU are pushing for the advancement of technological innovation, urging both students and teachers to revolutionize the way education is run. 

With Apple coming out with a new and improved iPhone every year and Tesla leading the efforts in innovative self-driving cars, technology is self-accelerating meaning the products of their own unique processes allow them to develop new and improved technology.

While many companies seek to improve their own version of artificial intelligence, it’s important for organizations and companies to come together to discuss the future of AI in our society.

ASU held a debate on the future of artificial intelligence last month with a variety of panelists discussing the future implications of AI technology and its impact on society. 

While there will undoubtedly be a boost of strength provided to humanity, AI could also potentially pose a threat to our existence and affect the way our society works. 

These kinds of debates work to engage experts and students in the discussion of the challenges and benefits of upcoming developments in AI. These discussions push us to question the role of AI in the future.

The knowledge of artificial intelligence AI doesn’t fall far behind the idea of self-accelerating technology. It’s not uncommon to see AI portrayed as robots with human-like characteristics in media, which seems to be too advanced for our time, but it’s important to remember that AI already plays an active role in our day-to-day lives. 

SIRI and self-driving cars are among the most well-known examples of AI but with rapidly expanding technologies, we could even begin to see AI take over classrooms and work spaces within the next few years.

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The idea of AI delving into the realms of education poses some interesting questions. First: How can AI be integrated into a classroom and aid in human education? Second: What are the positive and negative impacts that AI could have on students?

These questions are integral in learning how AI technologies can benefit humans and how human education can respond to challenges posed by AI. 

There are fears about AI being used to replace human teachers in the future, effectively eliminating the unique student-teacher interaction that works to inspire students, however, teachers and students should be central to the uses of AI. 

AI should be used to enhance the student-teacher relationship, not diminish it. 

It’s difficult to definitively predict how the future of AI can impact the world of education, however, according to many educational companies such as Pearson, the integration of intelligent computer systems in the classroom can have many benefits to students.

Big universities, like ASU, can heavily benefit from the integration of AI in the classroom. Not only will students be provided with additional classroom support, teachers will also be less overwhelmed and can spend more time in office hours rather than taking the time to do busy work such as grading papers, updating their website or even answering student questions.

Currently, computer systems are capable of one-on-one tutoring with students which far outweighs the cost and time spent with a human tutor. Students now can have immediate access to any help they may need without the worry of any time constraints or financial issues that would arise from having a human tutor.

AI can also positively impact students by providing helpful feedback in an instant about a student’s progress, effectively eliminating the need for standardized tests. Instead of waiting for a hefty exam given to students once a year to test their progress, AI systems can instantly provide important information on the progress students are making.

AI can not only aid in a student’s academic journey, but also help teachers and administrators in organizing lesson plans and address teacher shortages, particularly where subject matter expertise is missing.  

Large research institutions like ASU that are heavily involved in research can also benefit from the integration of AI in the classrooms and labs. 

William Hendricks, an assistant professor at the integrated cancer genomics division at TGen, believes that AI can revolutionize research.

"Programs that cross between personalized medicine and comparative genomics use artificial intelligence for basic computational biological systems," Hendricks said. 

Although many are hesitant about the idea of AI as an integral part of advancing education, there is no doubt that this new technology can profoundly improve the nature of academic environments.


Reach the columnist at yasmine.mian@asu.edu or follow  @yasminemian on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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