Review of EIC2018 in Bangalore: AI will dramatically change employment and education markets

The Education Innovation Conference 2018 in Bangalore last month concluded that AI and the accelerating pace of technological innovation will change the way education is delivered and consumed in India in the coming decade.

Speakers from around India, and as far afield as New Zealand and the UK discussed the theme “How do we prepare the next generation for the skills of tomorrow?” in parallel sessions on K12 and higher education. Speakers came from not just an academic background, as EIC2018 was successful in bringing together academia, employers, technologists and CSR foundations, including senior leaders from the NASSCOM Foundation, Khan Academy, Podar Education, QS World University Rankings, Medvarsity, IBM, Shiksha, Bharti Foundation, GE Healthcare, Indian School of Business and OP Jindal University.

Pratik Dattani, the Managing Director of EPG started the day with a global perspective on the education trends and how important it was to reposition education and skills at the heart of public agenda. ‘‘In 2030, most of us will be doing jobs that have not even been dreamt of yet. Technology is changing the nature of employability and the world of work constantly,” he said. He went on to say that with the influx of technology, larger companies may need to go beyond just compliance officers, instead looking at Chief Ethics Officer roles.

While speaking on the future models of education to the changing needs of young people, Utkarsh Amitabh, founder of global peer mentoring community emphasised the pace of change, and the need for educational institutions to keep up.

The EIC Debate pitched two Proposers and two Opposers on whether educational institutions will be able to adapt to the rate of technological change. Sreekanth Kakaraparthy, Chief Architect at IBM and Tamal Chowdhury SVP in AI at Course 5 Intelligence said that the slow pace of technology adoption by education institutions will prove to be a problem in the next two decades. “AI has got the approval of, and is embraced by, many major players in the financial services and healthcare sectors. It would play a pivotal role in course designs and formal curriculum as well,” they said.

But, education innovation is not just about technology. It brings with it changes in pedagogical requirements, regulations and a move away from traditional engineering courses to liberal arts and social sciences in India.

In assessing quality of education delivery, research and employability, themes from Santhosh Karnananda (Head, Client Relations at QS I-Gauge) recurred in multiple sessions. They highlighted the need for Indian education institutions to seek benchmarking on credible, international university rankings, to see how they are progressing relative to their global peers.

Raghav Podar, Chairman of Podar Education said in his keynote that to educate the new age learners, “curiousity, challenge and purpose have to be brought back to education while teaching the Gen Z in the digitally powered application-based economy.”

Vipul Redey, Head of School Enablement at Khan Academy spoke about reinvigorating the classroom experience through mastery-based learning. He gave examples of Syrian refugee camps and girls on the Afghanistan border, whose dream of innovative education is coming true through the use of this kind of modular learning.

Vijay Chadda, CEO of the Bharti Foundation said a lot of importance should be placed on the need for collaboration between NGOs and government, emphasising the important and irreplaceable role of government in public education conversations, particularly at the bottom of the pyramid.

The next Education Innovation Conference will take place on February 1-2, 2019 in Delhi, India. If you would like to attend, book a ticket by emailing today.

The event was covered in the Deccan Chronicle here and Times of India here.