Artificial intelligence is changing the 人工智能正在改变世界。

The world’s attention is now fixed on the unfolding impact of Generative AI tools on knowledge and creator economies. Schools, serving as the very epicenters of knowledge and creative work, may well be the first place the broader public sees tangible change take shape.


Leaders and visionaries the world over are actively advancing the applications of this rapidly developing technology. The pace of progress is measured in days and weeks, rather than months and years, and it’s only getting faster. The quickening of AI’s capabilities and applications mean that its potential impact, both good and bad, is growing rapidly.


Already, we can see around the corner that generative AI systems will have expansive implications for how schools function, teachers work, and how students develop personally and professionally for tomorrow’s world of work.


As is so often the case, our young people are leading the adoption and advancement of these new technologies. The term “digital native” already seems outdated as Gen Z and those that follow them will invariably be expert in these new technologies faster than many adults. Seeing youth as experts with real understanding and knowledge can open new and exciting use cases and applications for new technologies like generative AI.


Applying the power of AI to some of our greatest challenges in school and system design offers similarly incredible opportunities. It’s already helping teachers design courses and analyze data of student performance to engineer learning interventions and new lesson plans. But its potential to do more is clear. It could help us better know how the school day and all the learning experiences contained therein should look given the rapid evolution of the global economy. It could aid states and districts in developing new career pathways and structures for lifelong learning that keeps people connected to gainful employment across decades.


There is a sense, among many, that these technologies are pushing toward new horizons and opening us to futures both new and powerful. That group includes those pushing the leading edge forward, like Sal Kahn, CEO and Founder of Khan Academy.

许多人都觉得这些技术正在向着新的地平线推进并正为我们开辟新天地。其中包括那些推动前沿发展的人,例如Khan学院首席执行官和创始人Sal Kahn。

“We’re at the cusp of using AI for probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen,” he said during a recent TED Talk. “And the way we're going to do that is by giving every student on the planet an artificially intelligent but amazing personal tutor. And we're going to give every teacher on the planet an amazing, artificially intelligent teaching assistant.”


That would be a seachange in education if only because such personal learning and teaching supports are now profoundly expensive. To address pandemic learning loss, the federal government spent some 0 billion itself, with many state and local jurisdictions adding to that total. But, if we see the future as the Sal Kahns of the world do, massive funding infusions may not be necessary to provide customized and personalized learning experiences for every learner. Intelligent agents can already play the role of tutor and are likely to be more and more effective as the technology advances.

而这种个人学习和教学支持目前仍非常昂贵,因而可以说这将是教育领域的一个重大变革。为了解决大流行期间的学习损失,联邦政府花费了大约1900亿美元,许多州和地方司法机构还额外拨了款。但如果我们像Sal Kahns那样看待未来的世界,要为每个学习者提供定制和个性化的学习体验可能并不需要大规模的资金注入。智能代理现在已经可以扮演家教的角色,而且随着人工智能技术的进步,智能代理可能会越来越有效。

This ambitious and optimistic perspective, Khan says, must be balanced by an all out effort to thwart the negative, even dangerous possibilities with advanced AI, saying that all must “fight like hell for the positive use cases.”


Fears more broadly about AI include everything from potential job loss to losing control over lethal military capabilities. The national concern has grown to the point that OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman was recently called to testify before the U.S. Congress and meet with lawmakers about the technology’s rapid growth. Altman himself urged the creation of new legal frameworks to keep pace with the new technology.

坊间对人工智能存在各种各样的恐惧,包括潜在的工作岗位流失、致命军事能力的失控。对人工智能的关注已经发展到了国家层面:OpenAI的首席执行官Sam Altman最近被传召到美国国会作证并就人工智能技术的快速发展与立法者会面。Altman本人敦促建立新的法律框架,跟上人工智能新技术的步伐。

Worry about AI’s deleterious effects on education specifically are also spreading. New York City Public Schools effectively banned the use of the most popular forms of the technology, ChatGPT, out of fears of student cheating. New York isn’t alone. Many K-12 school systems and institutions of higher learning are taking a defensive posture.


Experts in the field say the strategy of banning or blocking the technology could have unintended consequences of its own. The vast majority of successful companies and organizations will be using AI in their work, and seeking applicants that know how to leverage its power to increase productivity. Banning AI in schools could therefore reinforce digital inequities, the digital divide, and ultimately opportunity gaps.


“Many school systems decided to ban it,” Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi recently told CNN. “In New York City where the public school system has banned it, private schools are teaching AI prompt engineering. We have to find a middle ground to safely include it in how and what we teach.”

Code.org首席执行官Hadi Partovi最近告诉记者,“许多学校系统决定禁止使用ChatGPT。纽约市公立学校系统禁用ChatGPT,而私立学校却教授人工智能提示工程。我们必须找到一个中间地带,要将其安全地纳入我们的教学方式和内容中。”

That call to a rational middle ground is both reasonable and appropriate given the awesome potential that generative machine learning offers educators, leaders and students. We should not only think about how technology can assist teachers and learners in improving what they’re doing now, but what it means for ensuring that new ways of teaching and learning flourish alongside the applications of AI.

生成性机器学习可以为教育者、领导者和学生提供巨大的潜力,上述的理性中间立场 是合适及合理的。我们不仅应该思考利用技术帮助教师和学习者改进他们现在所做的事情的方法,而且应该思考如何利用技术确保新的教学方式与人工智能的应用一起蓬勃发展以及这样做的意义。

“Technology offers the prospect of universal access to increase fundamentally new ways of teaching,” said Graduate School of Education Dean Daniel Schwartz at a recent AI and education conference.

研究生院教育院长Daniel Schwartz在最近的一个人工智能和教育会议上表示,“技术提供了普罗大众都可以使用的根本性新教学方式的前景。”

Indeed, teachers are already early adopters of the technology. Some 30 percent of teachers are now using AI to develop lesson plans, according to Hadi Partovi, Code.org. Pandora’s box appears to be open, but that doesn’t mean we lack agency and capacity to shape the effects of that fact. And it doesn’t mean that we’re headed to a future where AI replaces professional _human_ educators. In fact, it could well mean that highly trained and capable teachers are even more important facilitators of learning in an AI-enabled academic environment. But we need to act now.

事实上,教师已经成了人工智能技术的早期采用者。据Code.org的Hadi Partovi说,大约30%的教师现在正在使用人工智能制定教案。潘多拉的盒子似乎已经打开了,但这并不意味着我们缺乏掌控的能力,也并不意味着人工智能在未来将取代专业人类教育工作者。这其实都很可能意味着训练有素的、有能力的教师未来在人工智能学术环境中将是更重要的学习促进者。但我们现在必须采取行动。

Teachers need professional development specifically on AI and its productive applications. Teachers will need “pedagogical content knowledge specific to AI,” Daniela Ganelin, a Stanford researcher and doctoral student, told Education Week. They’ll need to understand the technology to fully grasp its potential and applications in the classroom.

教师需要专门针对人工智能及其生产应用的专业培训。斯坦福大学研究员和博士生Daniela Ganelin告诉《教育周刊》,教师需要更新“针对人工智能的教学内容知识”。他们需要了解人工智能技术,进而充分掌握人工智能在课堂上的潜力和应用。

With appropriate development and support, routine and time-intensive tasks in the classroom can be outsourced to intelligent agents and human teachers can focus on the deeply relational work of higher-level instruction, as UK Education Secretary Gillian Keegan recently noted. Formative assessment, an essential evidence-based tool in every effective educator’s toolbox, can be made even more real-time with responsive instruction plans and learning sequences adapting instantly to the specific state of a student's learning journey.

英国教育部长Gillian Keegan最近指出,利用好适当的开发和支持,课堂上的日常工作和时间密集型任务可以外包给智能代理,人类教师可以专注于高层次教学的深层关系工作。形成性评估是每个有效的教育工作者工具箱中必不可少的循证工具,可以通过响应式教学计划以及根据学生学习旅程具体状态的学习顺序即时调节,达到更加实时的效果。

Students too will need to learn and understand the technology. With the assistance of capable and knowledgeable educators, they will likely leverage these tools in ways that we cannot even imagine at present. With the right scaffolding around them as young learners with powerful technology, they can thrive alongside and amidst the rise of intelligent machines. And critically, we will need to provide that opportunity to _all_ learners–failure to do so will only entrench inequities and widen gaps in novel ways.


Our northstar must always be the democratization of learning opportunities as we bring the fruits of technological innovation to our classrooms and well beyond them. There will be challenges, to be sure, but the power of human ingenuity to mitigate those challenges is just as real and equally powerful.


In this new era of learning—and make no mistake about it, that is exactly what we are entering—we will, however, need an approach to the deployment of AI in education that is centered on real human flourishing.


Doing so will not only strengthen student learning, but ensure that future generations thrive in ever more human and humane ways. That’s the kind of tomorrow in which all of our children and our planet can thrive.