Over 900 attendees joined us in London last month at the 2019 EdTechXEurope summit, connecting the global learning community. Over 150 speakers, 50+ startups, and 40+ investors attended to hear about trends and experiences surrounding the future of learning and work.
AI in Education (AI-ED) and the Future of Work featured as key themes, where several panels and speakers discussed emerging trends. The link between these themes and insight into the next wave of tech disruption was highlighted in the opening keynote presented by Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet and Charles McIntyre: with particular focus on AI-ED companies Sana Labs (Sweden), Face ++ (China) and Century Tech (UK).
The 3rd wave of tech disruption is currently underway and is centred around AI and deep learning, which involves machines using data to train themselves and make intelligent decisions. Innovation in artificial neural networks could result in machines having human capabilities by 2060, and intelligent robots which physically interact with humans (also known as co-bots) are expected to account for 90% of robots in the workplace by 2025. Digital twins are being created for a plethora of “real-world” entities, from objects to complex systems (including entire cities) and even humans. This is creating a multitude of possibilities in the design and operation of products and systems and changing the way we interact with the world around us. ObEN, a US-based AI company, is creating virtual identities for individuals who look, sound, and act like their users and function as an assistant by performing designated tasks.
AI is the fastest-growing sector in education and is expected to grow tenfold from $900m in 2019 to $9bn by 2030. Over 75 AI-ED startups have launched since the start of 2018, and these companies are revolutionising the learning environment for both learners and teachers by offering AI-driven personalised learning content, enhanced learner engagement and monitoring, and valuable student data. In the education sector, AI tutoring systems are one example of how deep learning can revolutionise the teaching process by providing online intelligent chatbots or personalised lessons based on a student’s learning style.
AI and deep learning may also offer a systemic fix to the global skills gap. While e-learnings and other training provided by employers are often a ‘quick fix’ solution to upskilling and are typically compliance driven, with the creation of digital twins for employees, we could gain unparalleled insight into what they know, how they learn and how to maximise the learning process. In addition, when AI and digital twins function as hard skills experts, we free up the human workforce to focus on soft skills and add greater value.
In a knowledge economy, learning and AI are the new engines of growth and will contribute a staggering $13 trillion to global economic growth by 2030. These technologies are fascinating examples of how we can harness the data around us to meet the demands of the workplace and learn more about how, what and why we learn.