Future of Education is AI
16 July 2018
Introduction - The AI Revolution
The Fourth Industrial Age has arrived with apocalyptic prophesies by eminent
scientists and Hollywood blockbusters of Matrix-like virtual worlds, Terminator and
Lucy - inspired scary scenarios, the paranoia that AI will replace human beings, the
arrival of cyborgs, a comeback by authoritarianism; and the age Singularity, wherein
machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence.
This is the primary reason why AI is not popular with education; yet.
Education in most countries is “completely broken”, as it continues to be
teacher-centric and content-driven. The challenge is becoming increasingly daunting,
because humans will not be able to compete with computers and algorithms. If we do
not change the education system, we shall be in a dire situation. People will be hired
not for the knowledge they have, but what they can do with that knowledge. With lack
of creativity and competencies to re-skill themselves continuously, large sections of
society will be socially disadvantaged, emotionally challenged and unemployable
Consequently, they will have no economic and political value.
I believe that future competition will not be between competing political
ideologies and competing economic systems, but between competing education
systems. The individual, and the nation that has the better education system is the
one that will succeed and flourish.
My vision is to harness the positive power of Artificial Intelligence, by
providing a level playing field to the privileged and the less-privileged, through
quality and affordable education: any person, any age, anywhere, anytime, on
the click of a mobile phone.
I am here to share this vision with you, and urge you to join me in making it
happen at the earliest.
Artificial Intelligence will usher in a radical revolution in school education - it will
help us to outsmart computers and algorithms! For the past 1000 years, education has
been controlling the outer world. Now for the first time, Artificial Intelligence will enable
us to access the inner world, and reconnect us with our emotions, feelings and
thoughts; and in the process expand our consciousness. With such emotional and
spiritual strengths, we shall be able to challenge the probability of Singularity.
Innovation is the #1 Leadership and Spiritual Competency
Thus far, innovation has been about inventions, new ideas like democracy and
Marxism, new products (driverless cars), new business models (Uber and Netflix), new
social initiatives like the Grameen Bank in micro-financing, and new processes, such
as design thinking, to collaboratively solve problems creatively. With a new found
ability to access one’s inner self, new innovation will be man’s increasing Homo Deus
ability for educating the whole-child, greater self-awareness and reinventing oneself.
Schools of the future will, therefore, be schools of innovation. The new
paradigm will be education of the heart and the mind - the grand strategy to expand
human consciousness, and thereby combat the probability of Singularity.
Purpose of Education
Ever since the invention of the Guttenberg printing press in 1439, education
has been, and regrettably continues to focus on understanding and sharpening the
human brain. We need a new purpose for education that addresses the head, the
heart and the mind. The brain and the mind are not the same.
The brain is a physical organ containing 100 billion neurons or nerve cells, with
each neuron connected to to about 10,000 other neurons who communicate through
synapses that are communication channels. It is the the central processing unit of the
human body. The mind, on the other hand, goes beyond the brain and is associated
with our feelings, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes, imagination; and above all,
consciousness or awareness of oneself This is the domain, wherein, machine
intelligence cannot compete with human beings!
The purpose of education should be to educate the heart and the mind and not
the brain alone, in order to prepare a child to be a lifelong learner, to give meaning to
life, and unlock human potential to succeed in a VUCA world.
Where self-actualization, purpose, meaning, vision and values will be the
new model for educating the heart and the mind - the inner world.
Where man will need to reinvent and reskill himself continuously.
Where innovation will unlock the child’s potential.
Role of Man-Machine Teams
The education system of the previous Industrial Ages was directed towards a
teacher-centric learning, namely, the teacher teaching X number of students in a
classroom. We now know for certain that this is an inefficient method for learning, as
the teacher is no longer the repository of knowledge. Regrettably, this model is still
prevalent in most schools of the world even today.
The second model is one-to one tutoring which is a variation of teacher-centric
The third model aims at student-autonomy in learning, and is, therefore,
student-centric, whereby the responsibility for learning shifts from teachers to
students. This is not an alternative because of the demands of high levels of student
motivation, and the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge which only a teacher would
be able to manage.
The fourth model advocates is machine learning where teachers are replaced
by inspirational robots that read the emotions and facial expressions of students, and
adjust their teaching accordingly. Technologically this may be feasible in the future,
but humans will always have a distinct edge in educating the heart and the mind.
Future teaching and learning will be done collaboratively by Man-Machine
teams, a close partnership between humans and AI. In this partnership, teachers will
be learning companions to students and robots. This collaborative model is founded
on the scientific belief that, in the 21st century, talent resides in the team and not in
individuals any longer. It is based on the close partnership between humans and AI,
resulting in super-human performance. Call it humanistic AI. Research in cancer bears
testimony to this phenomenon.
The humanistic AI model of learning is shown schematically.
Design Essentials of AI School
“The key is to imagine the classroom not as a physical space, but as an
abstract, where collaborative learning exists that can take on any form.”
Anyone, anywhere, anytime with a mobile phone.
Personalization of learning.
Competency development.
The whole child through personalized learning, and one-to-one AI tutoring.
Student autonomy through self-directed learning, self and peer assessment.
Algorithms for pedagogical intervention and assessment. Can algorithms
replace teachers?
50 % virtual classrooms.
50 % reduction in teachers through:
Digital and virtual classrooms
Student-centric learning
Assessment by algorithms
Innovation Model
Technology Solutions of Interest
Personalize learning by pinpointing each student’s learning needs.
One-to-one tutoring as students taught by personal tutor perform two standard
deviations higher than those in classrooms, thereby achieving a 98 % percentile. How
can we personalize learning by replicating this with AI by providing personal intelligent
Qualitative and quantitative formative and summative assessments by
How can AI develop entrepreneurial competencies?
Face recognition software for classroom management.
Immersive learning experience on a selective basis through AR and VR.
Augmented personal memory to make us smart. Memory plays a vital role in
enhancing the power of the human mind.
Avatar technologies for teacher training.