Occasional papers

As part of the Education for a Changing World project, the department has established the Education: Future Frontiers Occasional Paper Series. The series will bring together essays commissioned by the department from distinguished Australian and international authors to stimulate debate and discussion about Artificial Intelligence (AI), education and 21st century skill needs.

The first of these papers have now been released.

The views expressed in these essays are solely those of the authors.

Toby Walsh is a leading researcher and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Data61, University of New South Wales, and was named as one of the Knowledge Nation 100 "rock stars" of Australia's digital revolution in 2015. This paper outlines the rapid advances in AI and robotics, the societal and political challenges that arise from them and the historical lessons to be understood. It includes reflections on how education can be a powerful tool to enable us to adapt to the changes just over the horizon.

Marc Tucker is President of the US-based National Centre on Education and the Economy and Visiting Distinguished Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Challenge describes how AI, automation, robotics, natural language processing and related disciplines are evolving and the significant consequences for work, jobs and the distribution of income.

This second paper from Marc Tucker follows The Challenge with an exploration of the implications for what young people will need to know and be able to do to cope with this world, and the challenges that this presents to education systems worldwide.

UK futurist Richard Watson is the author of Digital vs Human and Future Files. This broad ranging essay reflects on the purpose and value of education in a rapidly changing world where young people are facing accelerating technological change.

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