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3 challenges wearable AI assistants pose in education

Read time: 4.5 minutes


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The biggest development in AI this year:

Personal assistants that help us learn, work and play, because they are trained on our routines, preferences and interests.

AI personal assistants will mean we end 2024 in a very different place to how we started.

I am revisiting the topic of AI assistants because of recent developments. They will drive home the reality that our future is the AI augmentation of human intelligence and further highlight the need for non-linear innovation of the education system.

Two key factors will determine who benefits in the short term:

  • Access to the technology

  • Awareness and skills to be able to collaborate with the AI

This technology will require us to create the future of education.

At the moment we are seeing it take the form of:

  1. Wearable AI assistants

  2. Robot AI assistants

  3. Phone-based AI assistants

Let’s have a look at what we’re dealing with.

1. Wearable AI assistants

Wearable AI assistants will further redefine the boundaries between humans and machines this year.

There are many new wearable devices being conceived and put to market. Some of the most notable include The Frame, the Humane Pin and the AI Tab.

This week I have been wearing the Meta Ray Ban glasses with an integrated AI assistant. Here’s my video on this experience and my thoughts on three challenges they present to education:

Pushing the boundaries on ‘wearable’ devices, Elon Musk's Neuralink company ventures into the realm of 'implantable' technology, installing devices directly into the human brain. They successfully implanted the first of its kind a few weeks back, with the aim of helping people who are paralysed control a computer with their thoughts.

Brain tech is a fast growing branch of AI that will likely prove to be transformative to our society. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently implied that he thinks we’ll see the first AI tech that enables humans to communicate through thoughts in the next 2 years. To support this view a university in Abu Dhabi is already developing a ‘thought to text’ technology that is currently 40-60% accurate.

2. Robot AI assistants

AI assistants won’t just be technology that attempts to ‘merge’ with our bodies.

AIs will have their own bodies.

There is a race going on to release a general purpose consumer AI robot and they will likely be with us sooner than you think.

These robots hit the news again this week with a video from the company Figure. They are partnering with OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, Fi, and have created a humanoid with the brain of ChatGPT. It is truly an awe-inspiring video. Watch it here:

The main competitor to Figure is Tesla’s Optimus, Elon Musk says these robots will eventually cost around $20,000 and should go on sale by 2027. Check out Optimus here:

Are you ready for humanoid robots who will clean the house, prepare dinner and engage you in intelligent conversation?

This isn’t a scifi movie, this is possibly 3 years away.

3. Phone-based AI assistants

All this talk and development of new devices makes me wonder when mobile phones will start showing off some serious AI assistant tech.

Samsung and Google have recently integrated more AI into their operating systems, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Of course, most people are waiting to see what Apple will do with the iPhone. It is rumoured that the next iOS and iPhone will include an AI assistant that's been trained on your historic use of your Apple products. If this is the case then an Apple AI assistant, likely a revamp of Siri, could be a very powerful and personalised experience.

Implications for Education

It won’t be long until our students are wearing AI assistant technology.

They will learn from them and the AI will know how they best learn. We will edge closer to personalised learning experiences that don’t rely on a centralised educational provision.

I wonder how many students will eventually say to their parents “What’s the point of going into school, this thing teaches me what I need to know?”

What will schools, colleges and universities offer that is different?

This is the big question.


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