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6 Short Things to Read

This month in AI and learning: perks of automation, the future of work, UNESCO roadmaps, and more
Written by
Coleman Numbers
Published on
June 16, 2023

I've noticed that I've spent most of this newsletter pontificating wildly about what AI means. So this week, we're diving into articles that explore some other thought leaders' evolving perspectives on AI and learning. We've curated analyses of AI's role in classrooms, future-of-work speculations, and a case study showcasing AI's potential to incite human creativity.

While the voices we've highlighted run the gamut from institutional to personal, they're bound by a common thread: an instinct to buck tired, belabored tropes that have come to characterize the AI hype cycle. Hopefully their various insights help you to break out of whatever ideational ruts you might find yourself in.

AI automation isn't to be feared

Dr. Philippa Hardman presents a thoughtful defense of education automation. She notes that AI is shaking up the education sphere—not as a threat, but as an assistive tool. AI models like ChatGPT can take on mundane tasks, allowing educators to focus on teaching. But they need a human touch for optimal functioning.

7 roles of AI in education

Wharton professor Ethan Mollick and his team chart how AI is becoming an integral part of education. Despite confabulatory and hallucinatory tendencies, AI offers potential for enhancing global education. The team identifies seven roles AI can adopt in classrooms - ranging from a tutor to a student - while proposing methods to mitigate risks and harness the tool effectively. In his post teasing the article, he even shares some of the custom prompts they engineered to mold ChatGPT into an effective tutor and coach, respectively.

Non-linear innovation in the AI era

Dan Fitzpatrick (”The AI Educator”) and his team discuss substantial changes in education strategy to successfully navigate the AI era. They stress the importance of non-linear innovation - redefining target audiences, reinventing value, and redesigning delivery mechanisms.

"The Future of Work" with Microsoft's Chief Scientist

Investor/podcaster Reid Hoffman and his co-host Aria Finger talk with Microsoft's Jaime Teevan about the future of work, the role of AI, impact of the pandemic on hybrid work models, and the potential for a 4-day work week. And in this podcast, AI isn't just a topic—it's a content creator, offering its own spliced-in hot takes.

UNESCO's roadmap for AI policy development

UNESCO's recent online meeting underscored the urgency of creating robust policies for AI use in educational settings. With less than 10% of institutions using formal guidelines for AI integration, UNESCO is spearheading the development of policy guidelines, competency frameworks, and global dialogue for safely harnessing AI in education.

ChatGPT: A Catalyst for Human Creativity

WIRED contributors Dana Karout and Houman Haroni outline a case study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education that explores how AI can catalyze human creativity. In a 60-person class, the writers presented students with solutions to a hypothetical disciplinary scenario. The unoriginal responses by ChatGPT compelled a group of students to think creatively and formulate innovative solutions for the case study. This incident illustrates the potential of AI tools to challenge conventional thinking and spur innovative solutions.


As AI's roles evolve, the name of the game is reinvention: transforming existing systems and approaches to capitalize on this new technology. Delve into more articles like this and engage with the insights they offer at Mindsmith.ai (after you effortlessly and seamlessly design life-changing e-learning, of course).

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