Fundamental research in Artificial Intelligence has caused a tidal wave of new AI tools for writing text, creating images, and generating music and videos in a fraction of the time it usually takes. Software for generating 3D objects and (parts of) virtual worlds is also on the way. At times, this feels alienating but also very exciting!
The arrival of this new wave of AI tools has far-reaching implications for how we, as a society, are productive, what our digital world will look like, and how we shape our education. Together, this gives us sufficient reason to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into our strategy. We have started a research line, offer workshops for teachers, and are working on the first AI lessons for students.
Increasing human productivity
In his lectures, Robin often contrasts AI with lesser-known ideas about ‘Augmenting Human Intellect’, where students also read work by Doug Engelbart. The emphasis here is much more on how people solve problems with computers and less on autonomous software. How AI tools are now being used is also partly in line with these ideas. Tech analyst Benedict Evans described it nicely: “AI is like giving every company an infinite number of interns“.
Will AI take over your job? Probably not so directly. But fewer people may be needed for the same work, as professionals learn to effectively use AI tools to increase their productivity. In the end, it may not be so much a competition between humans and computers, but between humans + the tools they use. Or, as American computer scientist Licklider called it in 1960, the ‘man-computer symbiosis’
This applies to writers and policymakers who ask ChatGPT to create an outline for something or to come up with counterarguments. But also for designers who use AI for inspiration, to generate parts of their graphic work, or to create videos from text and a single image.
The future of the digital world
Artificial Intelligence will have significant consequences for what our digital world will look like.
Due to the increase in productivity, prices for creative work will drop dramatically. The advent of the web previously led to a considerable reduction in publication costs, resulting in a massive increase in information. It is expected that new AI tools will lead to a similar increase, with automatically written blogs, generated explanatory videos, fully animated fan fiction, and eventually AI-generated game worlds.
Part of VR Learning Lab’s mission is to train the digital creators of the future. Our tech teachers teach young people programming, game design, video editing, and responsible internet use. In a short time, it has become clear that AI tools have become an essential source in the development of the digital world. Pupils and students must be introduced wisely and given every opportunity to use this tool effectively.
AI for education
Most of the focus on AI in education is currently on ChatGPT and other language models. Understandably so, as almost all teachers deal with this. For every take-home exam and assignment that students have to complete, they can use OpenAI, which puts a large part of the educational institutions’ testing model in trouble.
Check out an application letter generated by a tech teacher during a team day here. A somewhat strange structure, but it would have certainly made it through the first selection.
We will place more emphasis on AI for creative work, for programs that train future designers. What tools should they know? How do you provide good education with these tools? And how do you assess work in which the student has used AI tools in the process?
This maker education is also a good place for innovation in schools. Together with students, you explore the possibilities of new technology and bring it into the school. This creates opportunities to involve other teachers in these developments and adapt to a changing technological landscape.
What’s our plan?
We see enough reason to broaden our focus and include AI in our work. But what exactly will we do? We outline it below.
Together with interns and students, we experiment with dozens of AI tools. We come up with interesting content that we can create with them and combine them with other software. We make short videos and complete escape rooms and VR experiences.
We share our experiments through various channels and often also how we made them. We share a lot on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube . We also share the best experiments via LinkedIn, our blog, and the newsletter.
BOOTCAMP: Design with AI
We have set up a new bootcamp for teachers of digital maker subjects. For this, we collaborate with Bijscholingvmbo, which allows the training to be followed with up to 50% subsidy. If you’re interested in a tailor-made bootcamp in English, please contact us.
AI workshops for students and pupils
On March 16, 2023, we are providing the first workshop for students through PLNT Skills. Tech teacher Marijn uses their Cognitive Artificial Intelligence education to develop valuable teaching materials. Soon, we will offer the first workshops for primary and secondary education.
Robin, Stijn, and interns Merel and Sabrina are working on an interactive audiovisual performance where AI and 3D images are combined in a unique way. The goal is to offer a unique experience of the future of our digital world. For study days, conferences, or other events.