Home | Brand Insights | Advertorial | Nüdel Kart: giving students the critical skills needed to thrive in an AI world
Picture: Supplied.

Nüdel Kart: giving students the critical skills needed to thrive in an AI world

Just in case you’ve missed the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution. I get it, artificial intelligence in sci-fi novels has been around for decades, but in real life, AI has so far failed to deliver anything that has made any real impact in our actual lives. Until now.

Firstly, my name is Marcus and I have designed play spaces for 15 years and now specialise in designing creative tools called Nüdel Karts to support creativity and other skills critical for our modern world. 

So this is where we are at right now: In the last few months since the launch of ChatGPT, artificial intelligence has shown us its power and ability to ‘think’. 

It’s not sentient by any means, but it turns out that well before sentience, there are millions of things AI can do better and faster than humans. 

Right now, AI is smart enough to write code, draw incredible pictures based on simple text, create persuasive legal arguments, do accounting, copywriting and social media posts and press releases. 

Furthermore, when this is combined with advances in robot technology (so you have both the robot brain and body), this will render millions of jobs like rubbish collection and sweatshop work, all the way to routine medical operations and legal jobs, redundant. 

All of this has the potential to remove millions, possibly billions of jobs, fundamentally changing the fabric and structure of society in terms of what we do and what gives us meaning.

As educators, if we fail to pay attention to this fundamental shift, we risk leaving our students ill-prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities in the future. 

It's important to remember that these technologies are growing exponentially faster and more powerful and the effect will come considerably sooner than many will be ready for. 

So, if artificial intelligence has now got the power to replace many repetitive and even highly complex tasks, how does that change what we teach our students now?

Below is a list of nine very human job skills that we need to focus on that artificial intelligence and robots are unlikely to fully replace:

  1. Empathy: Understanding and responding to emotional cues is a critical and underrated skill but one that will get more valuable. Jobs such as counselling or social work, are unlikely to be fully replaced by AI.
  2. Creativity: Original and innovative thinking is difficult for AI but with practice can be learned naturally and easily in the right environment by humans. Jobs that need entrepreneurship, design, writing, art, or music, are unlikely to be replaced by AI. 
  3. Human Interaction: Face-to-face interaction and the ability to build relationships with others, such as teaching, sales or community work will most likely not be replaced by artificial intelligence (these jobs may have large portions supported, or assisted by artificial intelligence. For example, there are already AI programs creating lesson plans for students and AI sales programs who can answer regular sales questions in a very human and natural manner.)
  4. Complex problem-solving: The ability to analyse complex problems and find innovative solutions, such as research, strategic advice or the invention of new products and services. Having said that, there will be many supports to these industries where artificial intelligence will be able to identify patterns in data that will find problems that need these complex solutions.
  5. Physical labour: Jobs that require physical labour, such as construction or manual labour, are unlikely to be fully replaced (although many simple tasks will be streamlined). This is also true for creative pursuits like ceramicists and sculptors, sports coaches and people who need a physical body to train and work with other human beings
  6. Ethical decision-making: Jobs that require complex ethical decision-making, such as non-repetitious law or medicine, are unlikely to be fully replaced by AI. But again, many regular tasks even in healthcare have already been shown to be done better with AI. In terms of diagnostics of health issues and even routine operations. 
  7. Judgment: Human judgement, such as underwriting or risk assessment, are unlikely to be fully replaced by AI because of the nuance in deciphering human behaviour.
  8. Adaptability: The ability to respond to changing situations, such as emergency response or crisis management, are unlikely to be fully replaced by AI. But AI’s ability to analyse data will likely be a great support in these situations. 
  9. Human touch: Jobs that require human touch, such as massage therapy or physical therapy, are unlikely to be fully replaced by AI because quite simply, humans need other humans. 

As you can clearly see, the breadth of activities that AI has the power to impact is hard to understate. Jobs from primary production and blue collar work all the way to medical and legal will face fundamental shifts. 

AI has the power to produce a new era in the same way the industrial revolution did but possibly even more seismic. 

So without being overwhelmed, it is becoming clear that our inherent humanity and most human traits are irreplaceable, and it is these skills we need to focus on with our students. 

The good news is that in the right environment, children will naturally and independently practice these skills and be highly motivated to do so. 

Also, the Australian curriculum already has these skills built into the syllabus the so the clear path is to move in this direction. 

So how do we get there?

We need:

  • A radical rethink of the standard priorities in education to include these skills
  • To support new and existing teachers in teaching creativity and these other skills 
  • To educate school leadership in empowering teachers to allocate time for these skills.   

All we need is the right environment, and this is where Nüdel Kart comes in.

Nüdel Kart is an Australian-based charity which makes mobile loose parts karts that transform any space into a creative, loose parts learning space for kids' aged between 1-12.

Independent research by Bond University found two important findings when observing children using Nüdel Kart without any teacher direction in a self-directed environment.

Firstly, children using a Nüdel Kart without instruction demonstrated all of the 28 sub points of the above 2 capabilities listed in the Australian curriculum. 

Secondly, over 90 per cent of the student observations showed children demonstrating multiple of these capabilities. 

This means that in a self-directed Nüdel environment, children are learning a very wide range of these critical skills and they are doing them almost all the time. 

All this news about artificial intelligence doesn’t need to scare people.

We need to face the facts that we are entering a period of fundamental change, and as educators we need to meet these changes strategically so we truly can equip our students to thrive. 

Marcus Veerman is the founder and CEO of Nüdel Kart.

He can be contacted on 0432738719 or at NüdelKart.com.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *