7 ways AI will shape the future of education and work

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is set to have a broad impact on future jobs, and the effects will trickle down to higher ed

While artificial intelligence (AI) hasn’t yet had a wide-reaching impact on the workforce, AI skills are predicted to remain in increasingly high demand.

With so many industries seeing the potential for AI applications come to fruition, the economy will need highly-trained workers to fill what is likely to be a rising demand for such skills.

1. The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs 2018 forecasts that AI will have applications in almost every sector. Software and IT services saw incredible growth in the past two years, but education, hardware and networking, finance, and manufacturing saw increases as well.

2. LinkedIn research shows that AI skills are among the professional networking platform’s fastest-growing skills. In fact, the number of LinkedIn members adding these skills to their profiles saw a 190 percent increase from 2015 ot 2017.

3. The Future of Jobs 2018 report lists AI and machine learning specialists as the number 2 top emerging role by 2022. In fact, AI is one of the top four specific technological advances (along with ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet, widespread adoption of big data analytics, and cloud technology) set to positively affect business in the 2018-2022 period.

4. Accelerated technology adoption: According to the WEF, by 2022, large proportions of companies are likely or very likely to have expanded their adoption of technologies such as the Internet of Things and app- and web-enabled markets, and to make extensive use of cloud computing. Machine learning and augmented and virtual reality are poised to likewise receive considerable business investment.

5. Companies will need to invest in training and re-skills their employees to keep pace with these changes. Colleges and universities have a chance to produce highly-trained graduates with these skill sets. The WEF report finds that 54 percent of employees at large companies will need significant re- and up-skilling in order to fully harness the growth opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

6. The real challenge for higher education is to look beyond the delivery of higher education to how AI, big data, analytics, robotics, and wide-scale collaboration might impact the substance of education. What students learn, what college credentials signify, and how we keep abreast of changes may all shift.

7. AI also may have an impact on streaming video and personalized learning playlists, according to survey results from Sonic Foundry and University Business. The survey reveals massive potential in higher education for AI to offer Generation Z the Netflix model for learning, à la using it to suggest relevant videos and build personalized playlists. Currently, 66 percent of higher-ed leaders think about using AI to leverage student data such as video viewing, grades, and course enrollment to personalize learning. Forty-four percent think about using the technology for recommending videos/information based on student interests.

Laura Ascione