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AI Challenge-How to Prepare Children for Rapid Change

At no other time in history has there been such rapid change. The news is ,change will continue to happen even more rapidly, so how do we prepare children to adjust? Change is inevitable. If we spend out time complaining about the jobs lost, and not adapting, we will miss out on opportunities the change will offer.

One huge change was the invention of the Polaroid camera. It was the result of the child asking her father, “Why can’t we see our pictures right when we take them?” But, it didn’t put people out of work like the digital camera that shortly followed. Those who were processing film slowly saw their skills useless as the digital cameras became popular. Before we knew it, their skill was no longer needed. Those who asked themselves, what opportunity is there now that we have the digital cameras. Some capitalized on this new technology and began offering the optional to print digital pictures as well. Those who missed this opportunity and did not modernize their business had to close their doors.

I am reminded of another huge change in the medical field in the 1980’s with the invention of the MRI. This was innovative technology that allowed doctors to see inside the body without cutting someone open. It was hit with huge resistance by those doctors who were surgeons and didn’t trust technology. It took time for the doctors to see its value. Those who saw its potential began preparing for this new opportunity. The doctors who embraced it, gained more credibility. XRay technicians who received training in MRI imaging and were ready to fill the new positions, increased their income by doing so. AI is now being introduced into the medical field to offer doctors multiple opinions on the reading of scans. It won’t replace radiologists, but it will require them to become versed in this new technology to use it efficiently. Those who resist it, will be left behind. Those who become versed in AI results will lead the pack.

AI has made a huge impact on many jobs. I can understand people being frustrated with their original work being used by others without giving them credit. I have personally experienced this. I have been speaking on empowerment of children and asking parents to shift their role. Until AI came on the scene, no one else was speaing on this topic. When we research on line today, I can find several people using the words in my books as if they were their own. I found one author to told my Suzy story and simply changed the name of the girl. The story was told verbatim. I could sue him, but my purpose is to bring about positive change. If someone else is supporting the same ideals, then I am pushed to create new material that is clearly unique. Will it be copied? Most likely it will, but that will help the idea gain traction.

Many are questioning the unethical use of AI. Unfortunately, the internet laws are not in place to protect us from this type of use, so we need to prepare our children to identify when it is not being used ethically. Parents and teachers to explore AI’s use in many areas and discuss how to determine if its use is ethical or misleading.

I was curious about this product and experimented with it early on. I created an ad for one of my books and used one of the AI characters to sing its praises. I have hundreds of people who loved the book, but the person I used in the ad had not. There were things I noticed about the ad. The girl I chose had a funny speech pattern. It just didn’t seem human, but, had I put it on social media, the viewers wouldn’t have noticed it. Ethically, I couldn’t post it, but not all advertisers think of this use as unethical. It will be up to the users to learn about it, use it, and become AI detectives.

Being prepared for the future in this rapidly changing world means children need to be taught how to think outside the box. When they rely on the internet to see innovative thinking, they will only find what others have created. When they turn to others to solve challenges they are shutting down the part of the brain that innovates. Nurturing creativity means we need to offer many opportunities for children to question everything and share their ideas.

Teaching an economics unit on cereal box creation is a wonderful opportunity for children to tap into their ability to innovate. Studying cereal boxes, students are introduced to advertising or propaganda techniques. They then apply these techniques to create a new cereal that will appeal to today’s consumers. They need to consider what is worrying people at this given point in time and create a product that will be the solutions to their fears. One student wanted his cereal to entertain his consumer while provide the health benefits that parents would be seeking for their children. he came up with Lego Cereal and his catch phrase was, “Who said you can’t play with your food and eat it.” Three years later, I found cereal in the shape of building blocks like Legos on the shelves in the cereal isle. Older students helped install a farming system in an African village. One student discovers a challenge of perserving the food and came up with a solar refrigeration system that provided a drawer for each family in the village to refrigerate their portion of the crop. These students were taught at an early age to see a problem, not complain about it, but decide how to solve it,. Today, our children need to become problem solvers by asking questions and seeking the answers within.

To prepare our children for the future we need to do the following:

  1. Teach them how to create questions that lead to innovation
  2. Train children how to tap into their creative brain
  3. Educate them on advertising and propaganda teachniques
  4. Train them to seek multiple opinions
  5. Study past innovations and the jobs that resulted
  6. Help them realize that there are no guarantees, so prepare for opportuities
  7. Train them to ask what the opportunities might be
  8. Help them understand that all research is data driven and can be filtered and to seek what is missing
  9. Have them experiment with AI to discover its faults – Do research using books and multiple resources, then ask AI to write a report on the topic. They will quickly see that AI can put information together in a misleading way
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