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AI – artificial intelligence and our children’s lives

One cannot escape the impact of AI (artificial intelligence) in our everyday lives, whether we realise this or not. Just unlocking our phones or looking at our online bank accounts using facial recognition uses AI technology!

It has impacted every aspect of the modern world, and yet many parents are unsure as to what exactly it is and how it will impact our future and, very importantly, our children’s future.

AI is fundamentally a replication of the human brain, where information is stored, interpreted, data is analysed, and information updated. It is the futuristic sci-fi films of old but in the now!

In essence, AI is a computer program that is able to imitate human intelligence, but that being said, it is without any form of emotion. AI is represented in robots, gaming, apps, etc.

The difference now, and why its far-reaching implications are being discussed between countries and organisations such as UNESCO, is that AI is no longer only applied to the technology industry. It is impacting and influencing our daily lives across all areas in the world.

For example, Netflix uses AI intelligence to analyse what you have been watching, and to recommend and highlight what you should watch next.

Incredibly, the World Economic Forum has released statistics that show that AI has already displaced 85 million jobs to date. The World Economic Forum has predicted that 50% of the global workforce will be affected by 2030.

It is clear that AI is already having a major impact on the world. As a result, educationalists and schools are very keen and eager to instil as much knowledge and information about artificial intelligence to the next generation.

All schools should now have a comprehensive Information Communication element as part of their curriculum, and outstanding schools are already nurturing the next generation skills in our learners.

AI involves the use of coding, collecting data, data analysis and how to interpret data.

  • Coding allows students to develop enhanced skills in the form of logical reasoning, problem solving and mathematical reasoning.

Learners from a young age should be shown how to code. At our school, we use a very well tried and tested programme called Lightbot.  Students learn how to program a robot with commands to solve puzzles. It is differentiated into levels and allows students to develop their abilities.

  • Finding solutions to problems by interpreting data means that children develop their problem-solving abilities.

Undoubtedly, AI is here to stay and is transforming the world at a fast pace. Therefore, it is vital that we embrace this technology, whilst simultaneously, taking extreme care to be aware of the dangers associated with using and learning about this type of technology.

UNESCO made world headlines when its member states adopted the very first ever global guidelines on the ethics of AI.

As parents, educators and the people who will influence the lives of the next generation, whose lives will never have been lived without AI, it is vital that we embrace AI and all it encompasses, to ensure that we are doing all that we can for the future generation. A generation whose role and positions in life will be very different to those that exist now.

‘Predicting the future isn’t magic, it’s artificial intelligence’ – Dave Waters Member States adopt the first ever global agreement on the Ethics of AI

By Penelope Best, Head of School,
Eupheus International School, Loulé