Debate Mate's founder and Group CEO Margaret McCabe was recently invited to speak on a panel about the future of AI at UCL. Here's a run down of what was covered and what it means for your child...
On Wednesday 24th May, our founder Margaret McCabe sat down for a fireside chat with some of the biggest authorities in AI. She was joined by the likes of Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, Azeem Azhar, Prof David Barber, Director of The UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Prof Yvonne Rogers FRS, Director of the Interaction Centre at UCL.
Margaret has long been an advocate for the huge potential of AI to revolutionise education and put Debate Mate in the pockets of every child around the world. However, like many, she remains cautious of its fast-paced, and currently poorly regulated growth. Herself and Sam Altman engaged in fascinating debate over the risks and potential of AI. Whilst their perspectives differed in many respects, we were struck and uplifted by the points they agreed on...
1) The enduring value of human intelligence
Both Margaret and Sam agreed that human intelligence will always prevail as this is what dictates the 'intelligence' of AI. Whilst the meaning of 'intelligence' is hotly debated and clearly subjective, the human ability to think critically and creatively, be empathetic, resilient and flexible cannot be replicated by robots. Concerns about robots taking over the jobs market and replacing humans altogether are undoubtedly exaggerations. However, the skillset humans will need to navigate this rapid transition to an AI-powered world are undoubtedly changing...
2) The human skills your child NEEDS to succeed in an AI-powered world
Debate Mate is built on the belief that children need to learn distinctly 'human' skills to succeed in the 21st Century. In the face of the recent rise of AI, this is truer now more than ever.
Sam Altman agreed wholeheartedly with our ethos. He explained that it will be the next generation's resilience, adaptability and creativity that will set them aside from machines. There is no doubt that there will remain huge demand for these 'human' skills, that remain at the heart of Debate Mate's programmes.
According to research conducted by Microsoft, 82% of leaders globally said employees will need new skills to succeed in an 'AI-powered future.' The report found that the three top skills or 'core competencies' that leaders believe are essential are analytical judgment, flexibility and emotional intelligence. Teaching your child these valuable skills is evidently one of the biggest investments you could make in their future.
3) The potential of AI to revolutionise education
For all of the fear surrounding the rise of AI, it's important not to forget its massive potential as a force for good. Technology has allowed Debate Mate to reach new students all across the world, equipping them with the future skills they need to excel. However, factors such as lack of funding, remoteness and poor internet connection mean that many remain inaccessible to us. AI has the potential to make our communication & confidence training accessible to more people in more areas around the world!
Ultimately, the transition to an AI-powered world is inevitable. It's important that we embrace its potential for good whilst remaining educated and engaged with its potential risks. But whatever you do - don't ignore it. For the sake of your children, it's time to invest in equipping them with the human skills they need to navigate this rapidly changing world of work.
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