What should we be teaching young people about AI?


With each technological advancement comes both new opportunities and risks. When it comes to technology like artificial intelligence (AI) that’s yet to be fully understood and explored, it’s important to educate more vulnerable groups (like young people) about how they can utilize it in a healthy, productive way.

While we know that AI education will prove useful, it’s not always clear exactly where we should begin. So, what should we be teaching the younger generation about AI?

The benefits

First and foremost, we don’t want to instill any fear around the technology – it’s true that we don’t know exactly how the future of AI will pan out, but as it stands, the technology can be incredibly useful when used responsibly.

It could be helpful to discuss the benefits of AI in a way that is age-appropriate and that young people can relate to. For example, sharing the ways that AI can be used to enhance study can be incredibly inspiring – we could teach students about how they can use AI as a creative prompt, or educate them on the ways that their school or college may be utilizing the technology to grade papers.

The risks

One of the biggest risks to young people with regards to AI technology is that of plagiarism. So, we need to help young people understand that AI-generated content is simply a medley of pre-existing content taken from what is available on the web.

Young people are still in the process of learning and developing their skills, and relying too heavily on AI use can impede their ability to think and create for themselves. Plus, trusting AI-generated content wholeheartedly without fact-checking it can have devastating, long-lasting effects. We need to teach young people the potential consequences of submitting plagiarized content, as well as using incorrect or unproven information that could result in obtaining lower grades.

The current landscape and looking to the future

As it stands, businesses in the information, technical and scientific sectors have reported the highest levels of AI adoption compared with other industries in the U.S. STEM students can expect to work with AI technology as they advance into their careers, and will likely begin to familiarize themselves with AI throughout their college studies.

Even those who don’t continue on to pursue a career in these sectors will need to get up to speed with AI technology. As more and more industries begin to utilize AI, those companies that haven’t yet implemented it will find themselves needing to if they want to stay ahead of the curve – this means that most young people will come face-to-face with the technology at some point in their careers. Plus, AI is now being used to screen job applications and resumes – so young people will need to learn how to optimize their documents to pass AI checks and advance in any career.

Educate young people as early as possible

With AI technology constantly evolving – and with there already being so much to learn – it’s crucial that we educate young people on AI as early as possible. To ensure we deliver the most helpful lessons we can to students, we’ll need to constantly be deepening our own understanding of this innovative technology to keep up with its advancements.

Author bio: Noah Davies

Noah is a highschool teacher with a passion for all things technology. He aims to prep his students for the demands of college and the workforce by delivering regular lessons on the latest AI advancements.