Artificial intelligence is poised to disrupt the workplace. What will the company of the future look like--and how will people keep up? Digital communications have made remote work commonplace. The gig economy is growing. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, at least 30 percent of the activities associated with the majority of occupations in the United States could be automated--including knowledge tasks previously thought immune.
MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced today a significant expansion of the Institute's programs in learning research and online and digital education -- from pre-kindergarten through residential higher education and lifelong learning -- that fulfills a number of recommendations made in 2014 by the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education. Most notably, Reif announced the creation of the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), to be led by Professor John Gabrieli, and a new effort to increase MIT's ability to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning by students from pre-kindergarten through high school (pK-12), to be led by Professor Angela Belcher. The announcement also included a program to support faculty innovations in MIT residential education and new work to enhance MIT's continuing education programs. In keeping with the high priority of these new efforts and of the entire field of digital learning, Professor Sanjay Sarma, now dean of digital learning, will oversee them in the newly created position of vice president for open learning, reporting directly to Reif. Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, who will share responsibility with Sarma for several aspects of this work, predicts that the programs announced today will have "far-reaching and tremendous implications for education -- for MIT students as well as for students not at MIT."
What began with the famous study from Oxford University academics Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne back in 2013, which highlighted the huge number of white and blue collar jobs that could be disrupted by automation, has progressed to growing interest from governments around the world.. For instance, a report by the British government's Science & Technology Select Committee into AI examined the issue from a range of aspects, from ethics to employment. Further afield, you have a recent report from the United Nations that looked at the disruptive possibilities of automation in the labor market. Whilst the White House report makes a number of measured responses, including greater funding for adult education and an expanded welfare safety net, the response of the new Trump administration is much less certain. In reality, the answers are largely the same in both instances, whether it's providing greater support for lifelong learning, supporting people to move where the jobs are, and so on.
In this talk, Prof. Iiyoshi goes head to head with an AI questioning the fate of education and lifelong learning! Toru Iiyoshi was previously a senior scholar and Director of the Knowledge Media Laboratory at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1999-2008), and Senior Strategist in the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2009-2011). He is the co-editor of the Carnegie Foundation book, "Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge" (MIT Press, 2008) and co-author of three books including "The Art of Multimedia: Design and Development of The Multimedia Human Body" and numerous academic and commercial articles. He received the Outstanding Practice Award in Instructional Development and the Robert M. Gagne Award for Research in Instructional Design from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
On July 27, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Philip Gschwend presented on environmental topics to approximately 75 MIT alumni in Mashpee, Massachusetts. Korelitz then introduced Gschwend, the Ford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering, who spoke on the topic: "Environmental Pollution: Do Our Remedial Solutions Solve the Problems?" Gschwend explained that this solution was insufficient, however, because it was discovered that it is not only hydrocarbon emissions causing the high concentration of ozone, but also nitrogen oxide emissions. President and webmaster of the class of 1956, and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering alumnus, Ralph Kohl said he "very much enjoyed" the day, and found Gschwend to be "very lively," adding "I can only imagine what his exams would be like!"