How to prepare teenagers for an AI-powered future

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When I was a child, there were some things in life that were certain, such as the fact that I would go to university, pursue a degree and then end up working in my field of study for most of my adult life.

When I grew up, however, I learnt that the only certain thing in life is change, and if I did not adapt, then I would certainly fall behind.

If you are like me, then you probably heard time and again that children will grow up to work in fields that do not exist yet.

Browsing through Twitter and reading about the changes sweeping through the technology sector at an unprecedented rate is proof that if we do not equip young pupils for a future powered by artificial intelligence, they will lag in the job market.

While it may take time for schools to adapt curriculums to these changes, the summer is a great time to develop children’s digital and leadership skills. So, this brings us to the question: How can we prepare teenagers for an AI-powered future? Creativity will be a core skill for teenagers and children to thrive in future economies, especially as AI is set to take over a number of jobs.

Organisations will prefer to work with individuals who think outside the box and can come up with creative solutions in a way that AI cannot.

One way we could instil the importance of creativity in teenagers is by encouraging them to explore new horizons.

The summer could be utilised to introduce them to new genres of work, new journals, make them watch educational programmes that will broaden their perspectives and sign them up for events to learn about different products and changes taking place in the world.

With the future being affected by technological advancements, teenagers need to understand the lingo to be able to navigate the future.

Learning coding and taking introductory courses in machine learning and AI will prove to be hugely beneficial.

A number of courses are being offered online for free or at low costs. There are also some YouTube videos where experts discuss the changes taking place, as well as share updates about the latest applications.

With so much information available about AI, what I found particularly helpful was signing up to newsletters by AI experts. That helped me receive the latest updates on my phone and save time.

Although equipping teenagers with the necessary skills to enhance their creativity is essential, we need to ensure that they also develop their communication and leadership skills.

A downside of using social media as a main form of communication is that it has negatively affected the way teenagers communicate.

Thus, it is important to provide them with necessary communication and leadership skills that would help them to negotiate, influence, inspire and, most importantly, lead.

Although we cannot exactly predict how our future economy would look like, what we can control is to prepare teenagers with the skills that will help them thrive, and not depend solely on what is being taught in schools.

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