Authored by: Tom Vander Ark

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Code that learns may prove to be the most important invention in human history. But in 2016, there was almost no discussion of the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in K-12 education—either the immense implications for the employment landscape or the exciting potential to improve learning.

We spent two years studying the implications of AI and concluded that machine intelligence turbocharged by big data and enabling technologies like robotics is the most significant change force facing humanity. Given enormous benefits and challenges we’re just beginning to understand, we believe it is an important time to Ask About AI (#AskAboutAI).

Through our campaign, we hosted convenings around the country to investigate the civic, social and educational implications of exponential technology. Sponsored by eduInnovation and powered by Getting Smart, this campaign was organized to investigate the implications that AI will have for employment, education and ethics—to start a conversation about how we can shape a future that works for everyone.

The #AskAboutAI campaigned took on three objectives:

  1. Employment: Describe future labor-market impacts and required competencies
  2. Ethics: Identify the social and civic implications of exponential technology, particularly the emerging issues that educators, parents and policymakers should begin addressing now
  3. Education: Advise educators, parents and policymakers on knowledge, skills and dispositions likely to be important in the automation economy. Illustrate new pathways to contribution.

After interviewing experts, hosting a dozen community conversations, and posting more than 50 articles we’re summarizing what we’ve learned in a new paper Ask About AI: The Future of Learning and Work.

The paper explores what’s happening in the automation economy, the civic and social implications, and how to prepare ourselves and our children for exponential change.

With this launch we’re also launching a new microsite on Future of Work. It includes a multitude of resources—blog posts, articles, podcasts, reports and videos. The full list of resources is a 101 course on the automation economy that will help you update your classroom or launch a community conversation.

While #AskAboutAI was the first installment of our Future of Work campaign, we will continue to investigate the development and preparation of students for the future of work and lifelong learning. Stay tuned for partnership announcements and updated resources.

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