AI literacy is a growing concern. Namely: how do we engage with and make sense of AI and how can leadership assess the longer impact of AI? I was at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 2000s. We were just seeing the adoption of technology in education in a sustained way. Learning management systems were starting to be used and our college held small group tutorials on how to use WebCT (which involved mainly working in an html editor). While the tool wasn't sophisticated and often took more time to do anything of substance than the effort indicated, it was clear that something different was emerging.
I spent time with colleagues today discussing digital health. Large healthcare systems are rapidly digitizing and the anticipated impact on patient care is significant. I asked a former CEO of a hospital system why he decided to pursue a digital path when the expense and time required, and the subsequent reward, might outlive his tenure in the role. His response is one that I think all school, university, and corporate learning leads need to consider regarding AI: "Once I saw what could be done with digital connected information, it wasn't a choice. It was clear that it had to be done". It has been decades and hospital systems that were early movers in the digital space are able to now provide doctors and nurses with timely and integrated information. AI and implications for learning are obvious.
The revolution has revolutioned.
These two ideas (one, that early promise can be seen in technologies well before they are widely adopted and two, that leadership is required to lead the transition) are increasingly applicable to AI. As stated in a recent NY Times article: "The best AI systems are now so capable—and improving at such fast rates—that the conversation in Silicon Valley is starting to shift. Fewer experts are confidently predicting that we have years or even decades to prepare for a wave of world-changing AI; many now believe that major changes are right around the corner, for better or worse". Educators and education leaders should be paying attention to this and we (GRAILE) are developing AI literacy modules with both healthcare and defense sectors. Let me know if you're interested in hearing more about it (or, for that matter, becoming a GRAILE Charter Member).