The world is at a tipping point for human evolution because machines are about to profoundly change the way we live, the way we work, and even experience what it means to be human.
This is according to Nina Schick, one of the first Generative AI experts and Founder of Tamang Ventures Limited, who addressed WISE 11, the 11th edition of Qatar Foundation’s WISE Summit, that concluded today.
Referring to the exponential rate at which the capabilities of AI systems are advancing, Shick emphasised: “In this new age of intelligence – a revolution – the default is going to be a symbiotic relationship with machine and human working together.”
In the masterclass ‘Critical Thinking in the Digital Age: AI, Information Literacy, and the Battle Against Disinformation,’ Dr. Marc Owen Jones, Associate Professor, Middle Eastern Studies Department at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), delved into the challenges faced by education systems in identifying and combating misinformation and advised on ways to tackle AI-generated propaganda. The session offered a timely analysis of media bias, particularly in the context of Gaza, and raised important questions around information literacy, essential infrastructure, and technologies for education.
Drawing further attention to the ongoing challenges in Gaza, Education Above All (EAA), the official strategic partner of WISE 11, hosted a special plenary session to discuss solutions and initiatives for educational recovery and to explore the accessibility of digital data and technologies in conflict-affected communities.
A panel titled ‘AI for Common Good’ explored the collective impact of AI applications in the fields of research, education, policy, philanthropy, and media on cultivating the next generation of leaders and problem-solvers. The session saw the participation of Her Excellency Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaimi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, who highlighted Qatar’s ongoing efforts as well as future plans in integrating AI into its education system.
Her Excellency the Minister commented: “Qatar is one of the early adopters of a national K-12 AI curriculum. It aims at preparing students for a workforce that increasingly involves AI technologies and skills.”
The ‘Empowering the Global South: Capacity Building for Self-determination’ panel gathered panelists Yaser Bishr, Senior Advisor on Digital Transformation in the Chairperson’s Office of Qatar Museums, and Nariman Moustafa, Research Scholar at the Brookings Institution, among others, to probe questions on the role of the Global South in shaping the discourse on AI, and maintaining the integrity of local communities and individuals’ autonomy in an increasingly automated world.
European co-founder and CEO of The Wolfram Group, Conrad Wolfram, delivered a keynote speech during the closing ceremony on the critical importance of computational thinking in the age of AI. He examined the interlink of the study of mathematics and computational methods to nurturing critical thinking and creativity skills, and argued for a shift toward prioritising the utilisation of computational tools in education systems to address real-world challenges.
Spotlighting collaborative efforts investigating complex challenges in education, WISE 11 revealed seven global research projects examining diverse topics such as the impact of learning festivals in strengthening communities, impact of student and teacher well-being on learning, and education and employment for persons with disabilities (PwDs).
The original version of this article appeared as a media release by the Qatar Foundation.