Lifelong learning in the age of AI

Developments in artificial intelligence are driving change in education and pose new questions of educators and learners. Annapurna Ayyappan cuts through the noise to identify the core issues for lifelong learning

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From television and radio broadcasts and podcasts to social media platforms, massive open online courses and open educational resources, technology has greatly expanded the horizons of informal and non-formal learning (UIL, 2022). It has also presented learners and educators with new challenges, as well as opportunities for empowerment and exploration. Now, with the advent of generative artificial intelligence and other AI applications, this trend is set to accelerate even further, as highlighted by Oleksandra Poquet and Maarten de Laat (2021), who describe AI as a ‘transformative force reshaping how individuals encounter information, navigate their surroundings, and make decisions’.

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The new learning frontier

As he begins his first term as Chair of the UIL Governing Board, Daniel Baril reflects on the implications of technological transformation for adult learning and education


In my first contribution to the UIL blog, and as I reflect on global issues for adult learning and education as new Chair of the UIL Governing Board, I would like to share a high-level analysis of what I consider a major and new educational challenge. In my view, we are entering a new learning frontier, principally characterized by the fact that human and machine are learning side by side and together. This ‘human-machine learning interface’, as it was described in a recent UNEVOC document, is characteristic of the so-called fourth industrial revolution that is dawning upon us.

In this context, the education landscape is being rapidly and deeply transformed before our eyes by technological forces, and especially by the computational and digital dimensions of those forces. Among other things, new technological means are widely distributed within the population and social arrangements are being transformed by them. In our world now, any two learners are just a click of the mouse away. The questions of the place and pace of artificial intelligence (AI) in education are symptomatic of those changes pressuring our educational world. In a recent forum on this topic, organized by UNESCO in June 2019, parameters for the policy debate were proposed. They are testimonies to the nature and the magnitude of the changes taking place. In particular, AI has the potential for ‘reshaping the core foundations of education, teaching and learning’. Unlocking that potential will move the frontier of our learning world. Continue reading