Upon the rise of AI and the hype created around ChatGPT, many university staff and professors around the world were increasingly concerned about its academic use by students and its implications on their careers and quality of education.
But do they really have to worry about Artificial Intelligence (AI) or should they consider investing in it?
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The Opportunities Presented by AI to Universities
Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents immense opportunities to universities in administration and education, by reducing costs, saving staff time and effort, and elevating the learning path of students in all majors.
Virtual Assistants and Conversational Chatbots: In their basic form they can provide students support with information about the campus and the curriculum. In their most advanced form, they are useful tools for assisting in mental health and learning difficulties.
Automated Grading and Feedback: Professors and administrators can now benefit from machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to grade certain assignments and exams or even get instant feedback on objective and subjective questions by analyzing patterns and language usage.
Campus and Student Security: More and more universities are counting on AI-powered technologies and AI algorithms to protect campuses, and students’ lives and physical properties through video analytics, facial recognition, and anomaly detection.
AI In Education
Personalized Learning: Not all students are equal in talent and have the same level of learning, that’s why some universities and institutions have adopted intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) to personalize the learning experience of their students in all majors. By using machine learning (ML) these systems can analyze individual learning patterns, identify the students’ needs, track their progress, and deliver tailored feedback.
Medical Education: Medical schools can immensely benefit from AI, and VR/AR to reduce training costs while improving efficiency. Medical education powered by AI includes VR surgical training, anatomy study, and educating care providers on the latest therapies and drugs.
Research and Curriculum Upgrade: Professors and academic researchers are increasingly using AI and data analytics to conduct studies and get data-driven results, so they can improve their methods, solutions, and curriculum. Students are also empowered to use AI and VR/AR technologies in their research and projects whether in engineering, medical, Anthropology, Economics, etc.
4 Strategies Universities need to apply to stay relevant in the age of AI
AI Literacy for All: AI is the top future skill any person who wants to stay relevant in the job market should have, thus universities should prioritize AI literacy as a foundation skill for all students. AI literacy includes understanding the basics of AI, and its ethical implications on privacy, bias inherent from those who programmed it, job displacement, and social inequality, and how to use AI tools for faster work and better results.
Adopting Interdisciplinary Curricula: Universities should encourage projects involving students from different educational backgrounds such as engineering, computer science, human sciences, etc. to work interdependently on real-world problems so students can better understand AI’s potential and limitations during the implementation.
Collaboration with Industry Experts and Tech companies: University professors alone can’t cover the gap between curriculum and fieldwork, that’s why all educational institutions are encouraged to establish partnerships, internships, and collaborative research projects with tech leaders and practitioners to enable students to get hands-on experience and relevant skills. Eurisko is already assisting schools and universities in Lebanon to achieve this goal through its “Eurisko Academy” and is now expanding in the Gulf region.
Adopting Reskilling & Upskilling Programs: Universities and educational institutions should now consider opening reskilling and upskilling programs besides the traditional degree programs to encourage students to close the gap between their current skills and those required AI jobs. Such programs facilitate career transitions and help individuals remain relevant in the changing job market through lifelong learning.
The Huge gap between University Curriculum and the Job Market
The global fear of AI replacing human labor is blinding academic leaders and the workforce from seeing the enormous opportunities AI brings to the table.
According to Goldman Sachs research, generative AI such as ChatGPT could replace 300 million jobs.
IBM goes even further by saying it could replace 800 million jobs.
But the other side of the story is told by the World Economic Forum which predicts that 1 billion jobs will be transformed by technology by 2030.
It is not all loss, but new opportunities to take advantage of:
Upskilling, reskilling, learning, and relearning for more prosperous societies in the digital era.
The same research reveals that 8 in 10 employers in the tech sector said they have difficulty filling open roles.
This is due to the huge gap between university curriculums and actual job requirements in addition to the skills shortage by those in the job market.
IBM’s report found that 28% to 34% of recruiters struggle to find applicants with experience in deep learning, machine learning, and data engineering and analytics. They also struggle to find job seekers skilled in programming languages and software engineering.
This challenge extends to interpersonal skills, as AI jobs require skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, which are not well-developed by the workforce.
4 Gulf Countries are leading the Digital upskilling revolution
Saudi Arabia (KSA), Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are not afraid of AI and instead of declaring war, they are leading a revolution with the world’s giant tech leaders such as IBM, Meta, Microsoft, Google and Cisco.
Educational plans, over the span of 5 years, project to upskill 100,000 young Saudis as well as the employees of government agencies to meet the growing demands for digital expertise.
In Bahrain, the government already started the journey of training 20,000 Bahrainis in cybersecurity as part of its information technology strategy under the Economic Recovery Plan.
Similarly in the UAE, the government has secured deals with giant tech companies to train 100,000 computer coders open for residents and non-residents.
They are also leading the AI educational revolution with Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) which is ranked 18th globally in AI, CV, ML, NLP, AND Robotics.
Will you join the efforts of those Arab Gulf countries in their revolution?
Eurisko Academy: Tech Skills Upgrade for Arab Students
As a leading Tech company, Eurisko previewed the lack of technological skills among graduates and the enormous gap between education and fieldwork, since its foundation in 2006.
For this reason, it established its own academy, “Eurisko Academy” to pave the way for graduates and undergraduates to embrace next-gen technologies and be able to fill newly created job positions by Artificial Intelligence.
Since its establishment in 2019, Eursiko Academy has trained over 1000 students and is expanding its activities and collaborations for more impact.
Our programs target 3rd year and 4th year university students, to train them over a period of 4 to 12 weeks, on multiple IT programs such as front-end and back-end development and game development, etc.
The scope we cover is broadening, as we are increasingly introducing new programs to our curriculum, such as AI & Data Analytics-related programming languages such as Python, and R, because they are the basis for any AI job.
And to empower students beyond skills and knowledge, Eurisko is devoted to assisting promising talents with their tuition fees, and it offers them part-time and full-time employment opportunities, so they can start building a career and contribute to the economies of their countries.
Finally, Eurisko Academy believes in the growing potential of new generations, therefore it has designed specific programs to introduce children to the world of coding.
AI is here to stay. Instead of fighting it, let’s invest in it to improve the learning experience of all students, and open them new doors of recruitment. Eurisko is supporting Arab Universities and schools in their efforts for digital transformation through its services and academy.