A pink robot standing in front of a class of human students.
Hi there,

Kids these days, am I right? All they want to do is play Fortnite, and make their little TikToks, and, uh… some third thing that we associate with Gen Z. And worst of all, they don’t even care about learning anymore.  

For the better part of two years now, we’ve been fretting en masse about what AI means for our education system. It became pretty clear that ChatGPT is eminently capable of completing most students’ homework, even at the college level. And it’s not super reassuring that ChatGPT traffic seems to peak during the (North American) academic year

But how much of this hand-wringing is actually founded on evidence? The short answer is we still don’t really know. Educators and students are in the thick of a rapidly evolving situation, and there’s no consensus on whether AI in the classroom is a good thing or a bad thing; whether it’s increasing inequality or solving it; whether we should try to ban AI in schools, or find ways to accommodate its inevitable encroachment. 

So, what’s the verdict? Is AI going to decimate schooling as we know it? Or will it be a great democratizing force? Today we share some emerging perspectives on AI, and some potential paths forward.

Until next time,
Katie and the humanoid team @ TDL

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Today’s topics 👀
🤖 Deep Dive: AI in the Classroom
🏋️ Field Notes: Building an AI-Friendly Culture
🧑‍🎓 Viewpoints: The Future of Schooling
AI in the Classroom
🏋️ FIELD NOTES: Building an AI-friendly Culture

We probably don't need to tell you that generative AI and large language models (LLMs) are disrupting a lot more than just the education sector. AI has immense potential to foster innovation—but it also comes with a unique set of challenges. In this recent post, TDL Managing Director Sekoul Krastev shares some behavioral perspectives on how organizations can build a culture that not only adapts to but thrives on the advancements of LLMs and GenAI. 

🧑‍🎓 The Future of Schooling

It's still unclear exactly how AI will impact education. What is clear is that these systems are here to stay—so we need to start anticipating and preparing for their potential consequences. Among other solutions, that means: 

We need equity-first frameworks to guide AI development and usage. This means incorporating a commitment to inclusion and cultural pluralism from the very beginning, and building AI systems specifically with marginalized populations in mind. One great example is Kwame, an AI Teaching Assistant that helps students study for the WASSCE (one of West Africa’s biggest standardized tests).

We need to move the goalposts. AI is only a threat to our education system to the extent that we gauge students on abilities that are easily replicated by AI. If the main goal of our education system is to enable students to regurgigate a list of facts about the world and parrot arguments made by other people, then AI is a huge problem. But what if we shifted our focus? What if we used our schools to cultivate young people’s curiosity about the world? To help them get comfortable confronting alternative viewpoints? To arm them with critical thinking? The advent of AI might actually be an opportunity to think about what skills we’re teaching our kids, and why. 

We need to take the pressure off. Childhood and adolescence are now characterized by fierce competition for spots at the top universities, for prestigious internships, for snazzy extra-curricular appointments. When the stakes are so high, can you blame young people for doing everything they can to succeed? If we want kids to prioritize self-betterment and growth over standardized test scores, we need to give them space to do that—space to fail and try again. 

Series of stacked bar charts showing that 32% know nothing at all about ChatGPT. Black and Hispanic students are less likely to know about ChatGPT than White students.
According to a survey of more than 1,400 U.S. teenagers, many still know very little about ChatGPT, particularly poor and racialized students. (Source: Pew Research Center, via the New York Times)
Authority Bias
By now, it's clear that AI often gets things wrong (and sometimes it straight-up hallucinates). So why do so many people assume that it's always right? In part, it may be thanks to authority bias. Learn more on our website.
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    • Consultant (Mexico)
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Find out more by visiting our careers portal

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