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How Do We Prepare College Students for the Age of AI?

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Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared in the Answering AI editorial section of our newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter to get exclusive insights and resources twice weekly (usually Tuesday/Thursday), as well as select promotions.

Today’s Question: How do we prepare college students for the age of AI?

These things did not exist when I graduated from Ohio University in 2000:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. (i.e. social media)
  • iPhone, iPad, iPod, Watch, etc. (Apple made computers)
  • FaceTime (actually, we didn’t even have unlimited voice data plans)
  • Google Maps (Google itself was only one year old)
  • Amazon Alexa (or any voice assistants)
  • WhatsApp
  • Bitcoin
  • Tesla
  • Spotify
  • Netflix
  • Uber
  • Slack . . .

You get the point. Think about how rapidly technology has evolved over the last two decades. Now imagine that it's multiplied by a factor of 10x, 20x or even 100x.

That’s the challenge AI presents. It’s accelerating the velocity of change. We all face it in business and marketing, and the same is true for college professors and administrators:

  • How do they prepare students for the unknown?
  • How do they adapt curriculum and experiences?
  • How can AI advance education through personalized learning?
  • What skills will matter?
  • What career paths will become extinct, and what new ones will emerge?

I don’t have the answers, but I know these are critical questions to ask. And not just for administrators who can affect change, but for parents who often fund the education, students who trust their college experience will prepare them for the workforce, and the businesses that will employ the next generation.

Joseph E. Aoun, author of Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, states that graduates will need:

  • Data literacy to read, analyze and use information.
  • Technological literacy for a grounding in coding and engineering principles, so they know how machines work.
  • Human literacy to understand humanities, communication and design.

We’re trying to do our small part to advance the conversation through the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON). Since it takes place during the summer (July 16 - 18), our hope is that professors, administrators and students are able to attend, accelerate their understanding of AI and drive the discussion forward at their schools.

We have special pricing available for educators and students, so contact Ashlee Moehring (ashlee.moehring@maicon.ai) if you’re interested in learning more.

And, if your business would be interested in sponsoring highly motivated students who want to attend, we’d love to hear from you. We’re looking for corporate partners that can give the next generation of marketing professionals a head start in their careers.

To learn more, request the MAICON sponsorship kit and indicate your interest in the student program in the comments section.

Have an AI question you want answered in an upcoming newsletter editorial? Submit your questions and feedback to marketing.ai@pr2020.com.

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