Generative AI is transforming mankind’s creativity. It is shifting the drudgery from human shoulders so that they are free to focus on visions and ideas and purposes. The future of work is poised for a paradigm shift. How do schools create a place for their students in this age of breathtaking technological leaps?
The coming of generative AI is being spoken of in the same breath that photography and celluloid film were, during their initial days. Just as the camera replaced artistic interpretations of reality, generative AI will make natural talent redundant. It is possible with generative AI to write, create products, and sing using algorithms that work from existing data. It is like magic! Imagine machines that are tireless, work 24/7 and leave us free to direct them towards the more superior tasks of strategy and creativity.
How did generative AI come about? Decades were invested in mathematical work and research before ChatGPT by Open ai brought AI into public consciousness in 2022. ChatGPT or Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer and other generative AI models are transforming not just each one of the currently recognized professions, but they are changing our assumptions of what constitutes work. With repetitive work being facilitated by AI models, what is left for humans to do is to dream, be curious, strive for emotional intelligence and supervise the execution of our visions through the machines we created.
Generative AI is a sub-category that comes under the umbrella term of AI or artificial intelligence. It is different from the rest in that it is specifically designed to generate new content. It is primarily used for image generation, video synthesis, language creation, and music composition. There is a new term for a person who uses AI to create: Creative Technologist! And there is a range of paid services and tools to help with the creative process. At this time, some of the popular programs are Midjourney, Lensa, AI Notebooks. But it is important to remember that generative AI is changing every day.
This brings us to the question – What can AI generative models offer to schools? To start with, consider enhanced creativity and better learning experience for the students. New ideas, art works, essays, and fresh perspectives on all the subjects. These tools can benefit students who speak English as a second language. Take writing an essay for instance. AI tools can help the student from brainstorming ideas to editing drafts to reflecting on every sentence. They can also assist students who have different and complex learning styles. AI generative tools can assist students with special needs or learning disabilities. There is the increasing demand for customized learning material and personalized guidance. AI-powered chatbots or computer programs that mimic human conversation are already simulating conversations in different languages, enabling translations and diverse exposures. Creating educational content, proofreading, upskilling, data-based decision making and more effective strategizing are some of the potential tasks that AI generative models can take up for schools.
Although there is no fixed age, the introduction of AI generative tools to students will depend on their age, development level, and educational objectives. Understanding and engaging with these tools requires an appropriate cognitive level in addition to a basic level of digital literacy. Schools will also need to ensure that the tools they introduce align with their curriculum goals and learning objectives. CBSE has taken the lead and introduced AI in the curriculum as an elective subject for classes 8th to 10th. It has also issued guidelines on AI integration. AI generative tools apply more to creative writing classes, art and computer science courses. And, like every other subject, the introduction will be staggered, moving from the simple to more advanced AI generative tools. The two other important aspects involved here would be collaboration between educators, administrators, and other relevant stakeholders as well as awareness of the ethical considerations concerning data privacy, bias, and responsible use. AI generative tools cannot replace human instruction since it will be left to the teachers to guide the students’ learning and provide context.
Generative AI can also relieve educators of the time-consuming and tedious task of grading and assessment. By automating the process, it would be possible to give accurate real-time feedback in an objective and consistent manner. Given that AI algorithms are capable of identifying common errors and misconceptions among students, they could learn from their mistakes with the help of targeted feedback. The usual dependence on tests and quizzes could become more holistic, involving a range of outputs such as essays, projects, and presentations.
At this time in mankind’s history, there is a lot of fear induced hype that machines will take over completely. Perhaps it would be prudent to take a step back and see that we may be entering a golden age of creativity and production. There will be a shift in the job market undoubtedly. It has always been that way. With every new technology, some jobs disappear while others are born. AI generated tools may give us more time to focus on superior skills such as empathy, leadership, and problem solving. What if this is the time for developers, generative AI artists, and creative producers? Each of us today could turn into our own creative studio with the potential to achieve our vision and manifestation.
We can make a choice to overcome all fear, judgement, and prejudice around AI. The bare fact is that AI is merely a tool in our service that we created. The tools do not pose a challenge, the real danger is of human laziness. If humans start relying on the machines to produce assets without striving for creativity, the outcomes will be mediocre.
So, let’s keep the sparkle of human flair alive and not miss a single beat. We live and breathe on cutting edge obsolescence today! Humanity is poised to transcend from a society of consumers to creators. The winners will be those that strengthen their unique personal emotional skills that no computer can ever mimic. It is time to start investing in expanding personal consciousness, awareness, and emotional skills.
We are the power behind AI.
The author is a global speaker on generational diversity. Author of four generational books, her TEDx talk is titled “The Unaffordable Cost of Generation Gap”. A certified virtual presenter, she represents the Professional Speakers Association of India on the Global Speakers Federation Board. She has a LinkedIn certification in “What is Generative AI” and can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/neerja-singh/.