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Preparing lifelong learners for future careers

How ready is Australia for the changes that AI will bring? This will require learning at many levels of society, and CIC is working on next generation tool to provide learning/careers guidance, as well as co-chairing a national conference.

Almost every week a new report hits the streets, analysing the impact that AI could have on the future of work. Many are over-blown in their predictions, but we can see the changes even now, as the routine cognitive work aspects of jobs are gradually automated, and AI proves itself to be comparable or even superior to humans in performing specific kinds of tasks.

How ready is Australia for the changes that AI will bring?

This was the focus of a 2 day online national conference in December, with CIC joining with other national leaders to plan and run Empowering Learners for the Age of AI (all sessions replayable). The focus was on the typically underplayed human aspect of AI: it requires learning at many ages and stages of society. For instance, to reap the benefits of machine learning requires a huge amount of human learning at many levels of an organisation. Or to reap the benefits of AI-powered educational tools requires educators to learn their pros and cons in real life teaching contexts, changing aspects of their professional roles. CIC’s Simon Buckingham Shum and Kirsty Kitto chaired sessions bringing together industry, government, academia, schools and union perspectives to kickstart an ongoing conversation. 

A specific strategy is to harness big data and AI to advise on AI’s impact, to help ensure that people upskill for jobs that won’t be automated. CIC’s Assoc. Prof. Kirsty Kitto is leading the technical work at UTS on a new, interactive tool to assist both educators and students to analyse the skills being taught in UTS programs, and the jobs for which this is equipping students, using regularly updated labour market data. TRACK (Tailored Recruitment Analytics and Curriculum Knowledge) is a fast-moving, cross-UTS strategic initiative working closely with colleagues across the university, combining human-centred design, text analytics (of curriculum and jobs data) and learner pathway analysis. TRACK will help UTS get a picture of the skills we teach, and help students assess their elective subject choices and career options. Learn more about TRACK in this blog post, and no doubt there’ll be more news to share in the next newsletter!