Teachers, students urged to embrace Artificial Intelligence

By Feona Morrison

2/10/20243 min read

Artificial Intelligence Educator, Nick Brown

WITH the development of artificial intelligence (AI), the position of the teacher in the educational system has undergone significant change. Furthermore, although AI can undoubtedly improve education, it cannot replace teachers, who are essential in fostering students’ intellectual and personal development.

Nick Brown, the founder of the Caribbean AI Institute and CEO and founder of Camille’s Academy, Camille Deokie-Gorakh, shared this view on Thursday while speaking at the launch of the institute’s AI4Education Conference.

The conference, being conducted in partnership with Camille’s Academy, is dubbed the first-of-its-kind in the Caribbean and will take place in Guyana in April.

The AI world has blossomed in the previous years, he remarked, referencing the thousands of tools available for different purposes. Today, he noted, the number of publicly available AI tools which exceeds 5,000.

Brown said the application of AI and cutting-edge technologies is gaining traction in the Western World. Whether it is in their governments, their educational systems, or their industries. He said Western countries are investing billions of dollars in learning how to apply AI.

He said that as the world enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution, investing in AI is an investment in the future. “We are moving into an unchartered future. The future that you guys will be growing up in is going to look radically different than the way the world looks today,” Brown told the gathering of mostly teachers and students of Camille’s Academy.

According to him, the mission of his organisation is to provide developing nations like Guyana with AI development tools so they can stay up to date with the swift pace of technological progress.

He said that by 2030, artificial intelligence is expected to replace many white-collar jobs. “A lot of the jobs that we currently aspire to as future university graduates…call centres, BPO (Business Process Outsourcing). Those jobs are very likely to be replaced by Artificial Intelligence.”

Brown advised attendees to brace themselves by utilising as much technology as possible in their daily lives, even though we cannot precisely foresee where technology will go in the next three decades. He exhorted educators to set the example in this regard.

He also urged attendees to prepare themselves by incorporating as much technology as possible into their daily lives. In this way, he urged educators to lead by example.

The launch was held at Camille’s Academy’s Lusignan, East Coast Demerara campus on Thursday and was attended by educators and students from all of the school’s campuses

“It is important for educators to lead the way in adopting technology. The students learn through observations and teachers are the greatest role models. So, the more teachers and educators in this country who can adopt to using AI in their workflow, for curriculum design, for developing assignments… the more students will be empowered to use technology,” he posited.

While some individuals concur that using AI in the classroom amounts to cheating, Brown begged to differ. “But I disagree fundamentally. I think it is the obligations of teachers to change the way they teach to accommodate the new technology that is there. Banning your students from using AI is probably one of the worst things educators can do…”

Though he alluded to the “resistance and fear” about the use of AI in the education sector, he encouraged students to use AI to enhance their school work rather than to entirely rely on it since they could rob themselves of the learning experience.

Meanwhile, CEO and founder of Camille’s Academy, Camille Deokie-Gorakh, predicted that artificial intelligence would change students’ lives as well as the educational system.

According to her, the school system has shifted away from the “traditional classroom” in light of advancements. But she, however, assured: “The programme we are launching today is not to replace humans. We know that in a school environment socialisation… having that personal experience is very, very important. Hence, the human element will also be the key in ensuring that we produce quality leaders and we continue to provide quality education.”

The Caribbean AI4Education Conference intends to stand as a beacon of innovation and progress. It desires to harness the unparalleled potential of AI to enhance educational outcomes and empower both teachers and students with cutting-edge tools and methodologies.