by Robin Austin

AI/ML in education closes the gap on income inequality

Aug 06, 2019
Artificial IntelligenceEducation IndustryMachine Learning

Education for all is the most profound productive and precise answer to income inequality. History has shown time and time again that education in reading, writing and math is the great economic leveler for every human being throughout the globe. Artificial intelligence and machine learning implemented through education will uplift every human being on this planet creating a more inclusive society.

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Credit: bananajazz / Getty Images

Today, every man, women and child no matter his or her origin, race, or economic circumstance can enrich their lives through educational made available through AI/ML educational learning systems. The caveat is connectivity access. Education assures equality and I believe is a better use of appropriated inequality funds rather than doling them out. I am a proponent of “teaching to fish” for the long-term. Education for all peoples in all countries with all languages will be as equally disseminated depending on the availability of connectivity and AI/ML educational systems. And if not easily available at home, schools and universities can incorporate AI/ML education; local libraries, churches, warehouses, parks, restaurants, offices and group homes can provide connectivity. Anywhere connectivity exists so can education thanks to AI/ML. We in the US need to put our efforts into making sure WI-FI or the next evolution of connectivity is available everywhere then supporting AI/ML educational systems.

AI/ML educational systems for the 21st century

There is a great need for the US to quickly adapt to the digital age. Due to fear of economic and global domination, countries are waking up to the value of education as well as the advantages it creates. Entrepreneurship and an intelligent work force will keep the US economically relevant. The “powers that be” along with economic experts believe that the United States must at all costs preserve its primary invention and innovation position especially in revolutionizing AI, ML, big data and technological advancement in IoT and Bio Sciences. Just about every country including the US believes that a highly educated population will build the infrastructure necessary to support a highly educated workforce delivering disruptive products and services to the global market. Amazon is just the beginning product and services delivery mechanism.

The continued belief is that the country that dominates the global AI/ML market also will dominate the “one world economy”. The race is on especially with China being the top AI/ML competitor adopting AI/ML in every facet of the Chinese life. Commerce drives the global political agenda and the political agenda can drive whether the US maintains its current form of government; its people maintaining their way of life; its people maintaining its religious, privacy and choice freedoms. Only a highly educated population along with highly educated leaders can have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental fact that education creates a free and equal people with a global economic prowess.  

The US public voice influences how the US government operates and hence how it influences the US personal way of life. Knowing that many of you may push back from these ideas, I offer a simple form of proof.  Donald Trump was elected President of the United States despite the overwhelming odds against him and despite the media and the expert’s belief that it was absurd. No matter what you think of Donald Trump, alongside his election, our US economy improved just because of US economic confidence if nothing else.

What’s new? US competes with China!

Fortune 1000 businesses along with a massive number of start-ups have a renewed entrepreneurial spirit. Thank goodness because it is these entrepreneurs that will build the new world economy; the next companies employing the next educated and intelligent work force. There are more jobs than people to fill them; at least for now. There is no doubt that AI/ML will cause a shift in our workforce.

The 21st century is the digital age of AI/ML classrooms with classrooms being where ever connection is available. Education using AI/ML could go a long way to filling the shortage of highly skilled people.  Remember “knowledge is power” and the US is playing catch up to China’s “all in thinking”. China funds AI/ML innovation in every possible aspect of education, technology, infrastructure and medicine.  China is pushing to take the US’s place economically through comprehensive adoption of AI/ML functionality.

With Huawei being allowed to bid on most of the global counties 5G expansion, China hopes to dominate the 5G market. Most every country sees Huawei as a welcome cheap option for their global 5G internet infrastructure. And, why shouldn’t they buy Huawei? Just because China used Huawei and ZTE to steal US intellectual property (IP) doesn’t mean the rest of the world’s countries have the same fear or even that China is interested in spying on them as in the US; or that they have any IP China would want to steal. I believe as long as China can get away with it, spying is what they do and always have done to create a competitive advantage. China is looking to dominate the world economically. Can you imagine the Chinese Wa´n being used instead of the dollar as the world’s global reserve currency? Don’t laugh, it could happen. Prior to the 2016 US Presidential election, groups of countries leaders came together over changing their reserve currency from the dollar.  Global “What if” discussions are still going on and strategies will cause quick actions if the dollar is no longer beneficial.

Most countries believe the risk is worth it because without irrefutable proof of China spying ON THEM, the alternative they believe may create a bigger risk doing them more economic damage. Without cheap Huawei equipment the cost of a 5G infrastructure for their country might be prohibitive. Their fear is being completely left behind the rest of the world’s race to expand into 5G. The overall belief is that he who controls 5G, AI and ML controls the world and if they don’t have it, commerce competition will leave them behind.

Instead of the US trying to influence the countries of the world to eliminate Huawei from bidding, maybe our US government should partner with other US 5G equipment manufacturers leveling the playing field by incentivizing a lower bid when Huawei is bidding on a countries 5G infrastructure. I prefer a proactive use of our tax funds over a reactive one. Don’t you? What if the US government brought together the US top 5G manufacturers creating a common financial bond against China’s Huawei? I believe that unity alone might tip the scale away from Huawei winning the bid and in cooperation we all would benefit: the US 5G manufacturers, the US people and the country needing 5G infrastructure.

US educational future hangs on embracing AI/ML

The past educational limits resulted in a lack of achievement therefore a lack of opportunities. AI/ML for education will unleash so much potential in every American society formerly having been constrained. With inclusion of AI/ML, Ivy-League Universities along with the top 10 universities like the University of Texas will no longer be out of reach for students based on proximity or cost. With AI/ML Educational Systems, proximity means the nearest connectivity or WI-FI and cost means the cost of connectivity and devices. Cost will also include the universities per hour class cost plus materials like eBooks. Hardcopy books can be a thing of the past and Universities need to adopt non-printed texts allowing the student to print their own copy. Universities will be able to lower their class cost per hour and increase their enrollment. They will be able to increase their teaching staff with less interaction per student, increase a more highly qualified teaching staff with better pay while decreasing classroom space and building space.

Students will reduce their cost of travel time and additional expenses like housing and food. Dorm rooms can become a thing of the past or can be used as Air-B&B-like for those attending University events, visiting professors or game day as additional revenue all managed by AI/ML systems. Students of all ages will be able to qualify. Age will not have to be a factor unless the class has an educational prerequisite. AI/ML testing-in can be offered to qualify.

Work won’t impede classroom learning. Learning will be based on the student’s pace and availability within reason. Study and work can be combined as a whole population lifestyle with major businesses support for their employees’ additional education. No longer is their need to choose work or education. Businesses can provide both work and education to incite position acceptance and enhance long-term loyalty. AI/ML not only affects people being employed but it also affects the employer. Possible reallocation of that employee with appropriate education has to be the new leadership thinking as AI/ML saturates every area of our lives.

The possible student educational debt for potential students should prove less out of control and more affordable or even non-existent. One of the most profound aspects of education in the AI/ML environment is the possible productivity. The synergies with Local governments, schools, and especially the private sector will need to routinely intersect to create cooperation and collaboration through the AI-powered digital space. Public/Private partnerships could be a competitive advantage for 5G development for the US. Public/Private partnerships could help fund connectivity for less populated and economically poor areas.

“Knowledge is power”…and with AI/ML the American Dream can literally be at every person’s fingertips as long as connectivity of some kind like WI-FI is available. America needs to get moving on making 4G and 5G available to everyone, everywhere in the US and that means everywhere in the US.