What capabilities do learners need for an AI world?

I took part in an enjoyable and stimulating exercise led by my colleague ‘up the road’, the fabulous Lina Markauskaite, in which she orchestrated a “polylogue” among authors on how we envisioned the capabilities that learners will increasingly need in an AI-infused society. We each responded independently to a common set of prompt questions, and then began to comment on each others’ work, moving to a discussion and synthesis. This produces a different kind of article. See what you think (open access)…

L. Markauskaite, R. Marrone, O. Poquet, S. Knight, R. Martinez-Maldonado, S. Howard, J. Tondeur, M. De Laat, S. Buckingham Shum, D. Gašević, and G. Siemens (2022), Rethinking the entwinement between artificial intelligence and human learning: What capabilities do learners need for a world with AI? Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, Vol.3, 100056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeai.2022.100056

The proliferation of AI in many aspects of human life—from personal leisure, to collaborative professional work, to global policy decisions—poses a sharp question about how to prepare people for an interconnected, fast-changing world which is increasingly becoming saturated with technological devices and agentic machines. What kinds of capabilities do people need in a world infused with AI? How can we conceptualise these capabilities? How can we help learners develop them? How can we empirically study and assess their development? With this paper, we open the discussion by adopting a dialogical knowledge-making approach. Our team of 11 co-authors participated in an orchestrated written discussion. Engaging in a semi-independent and semi-joint written polylogue, we assembled a pool of ideas of what these capabilities are and how learners could be helped to develop them. Simultaneously, we discussed conceptual and methodological ideas that would enable us to test and refine our hypothetical views. In synthesising these ideas, we propose that there is a need to move beyond AI-centred views of capabilities and consider the ecology of technology, cognition, social interaction, and values.

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