What impact does AI have on vocational education and training in Europe and how can it be dealt with in practice?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as a computer system that has been designed to interact with the world in ways we think of as human and intelligent. Ample data, cheap computing and AI algorithms mean technology can learn very quickly. The transformative power of AI cuts across all economic and social sectors, including education. UNESCO says AI has the potential to accelerate the process of achieving the global education goals through reducing barriers to accessing learning, automating management processes, and optimizing methods in order to improve learning outcomes. Education will be profoundly transformed by AI. Teaching tools, ways of learning, access to knowledge, and teacher training will be revolutionized. A recent European Joint Research Council policy foresight report suggests that “in the next years AI will change learning, teaching, and education. The speed of technological change will be very fast, and it will create high pressure to transform educational practices, institutions, and policies.”
AI systems can provide diagnostic data to learners so that they can reflect on their metacognitive approaches and areas in need of development. New pedagogical possibilities include learning companions based on affective computing and emotion AI. AI systems can help in interpreting activities undertaken in VET, linking theoretical and practice-based learning. AI can be a key technology in the modernisation of VET by providing new opportunities for adapting learning content based on student’s needs, new processes for assessment, analysing possible bottlenecks in learners’ domain understanding and improvement in guidance for learners.