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article imageColleges and universities might become obsolete due to AI

By Markos Papadatos     Jan 15, 2018 in Technology
Artificial intelligence has transformed many industries such as manufacturing, corporations and retail. Now traditional universities are being challenged, as they need to prepare for a "technology-enabled" future.
Universities and traditional colleges are worried about competition derived from academic institutions that are using online learning technologies. In addition, several companies are requiring their workers to have training in specific skills and certifications.
Dr. Subhash Kak, a Regents Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oklahoma State University, noted that online education is a "disruptive challenge." Dr. Kak instructs online classes with students from all over the world, and researches artificial intelligence. He cited a lack of student demand for the closure of 800 (out of 10,000) engineering colleges in India.
Professor Kak acknowledged that, in the United States, online learning is responsible for putting almost half the traditional colleges and universities at risk of closing down, especially since students can now get comparable educations thanks to online education, without the need to live on campus nor take courses in person. He underscores the need for colleges and universities to transform themselves into academic institutions for a "technology-assisted future," otherwise, they risk shutting down in the next few decades.
One of the most powerful aspects of his article, which was published in The Conversation, dealt with the ever-changing job market. He makes a very valid point in that the number of jobs that involve cognitive and physical skills is diminishing, especially since automation at factories is replacing actual workers all around the world; moreover, artificial intelligence is eliminating high-skill jobs in offices. As a result, many global economies are turning from manufacturing to service, where new jobs may not necessarily require advanced college degrees.
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