Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)
AI Academy Sri Lanka’s first dedicated Artificial Intelligence Educational Institute opens for Enrollments
New future-oriented institute located at the Colombo Innovation Tower to produce future proof talent that will shape tomorrow with AI led disruptive technology
The AI Academy is fully supportive of the government’s agenda to reform the curriculum in higher education to meet local & global market demands and prioritize technology based education creating a skilled resource pool for economic transformation that is in high demand locally and globally.
The following interview with cofounder of the AI Academy Lin Gong-Deutschmann reveals details about the AI Academy and what its new intake can expect, its motivation and focus.
Q: What made you focus entirely on Artificial Intelligence, when there are other technology education paths?
A dedicated education institute to nurture talent in the field of Artificial Intelligence was launched with the clear understanding and acce ptance that Art i f i c i a l Intelligence (AI) will disrupt every aspect of life in the future, it’s a matter of when and not if. It is a technology that has already crept into everyday life and its impact is only getting more profound. In order to remain relevant, the next generation of change makers and leaders will have no choice but to familiarize with this technology as it is going to play some part in any industry or sector they step into.
Q: If AI will so impact every indus try and sector, what do you think is the biggest challenge we will be faced with?
Given its widespread application and potential, the question of how the future job market will look like, is one that is raising many concerns. As certain jobs of today will be entirely replaced by AI, there will be many new jobs created and almost all will change. Therefore the biggest challenge or the biggest impact is what it will do to the future job market.
Unlike decades ago, those in the job market today or the one’s stepping into the job market have to ensure their job or specialization won’t be replaced by machines, and with the speed of technology development, machines are advancing at a much faster pace than the ever before.
So, while those currently in the job market are scrambling to re- skill and up- skill themselves to remain relevant, the younger generations are presented with a fresh start to gear themselves up to face an AI driven dynamic future.
Q: The thought of having to com pete with AI to secure a job in the future, sounds quite scary. Do you think AI advancements could have a positive impact on the job market?
Yes, definitely! Research and surveys points out the immense contribution of AI in surging economic growth, creating new jobs and also playing more of an augmentation to existing jobs.
The World Economic Forum research states that 75 million jobs will be displaced until 2022, It also identifies 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms creating 58 million net new jobs.
Artificial Intelligence will replace jobs that do repetitive task in structured settings and yes, it will do it more efficiently and accurately than humans, but it won’t entirely replace humans because many new jobs will be created as a result of it, and the most powerful combination would be when human skills merge with the exponential capabilities of machines – that is where real disruption will happen.
Q: How do you succeed and thrive in a tomorrow that is wrapped with so many uncertainties and possibilities given the nature of this disruptive technology?
Embracing new technology provides a golden opportunity for emerging and developing economies to leapfrog – attaining faster and higher levels of economic growth and prosperity in a shorter span of time. Exponential technologies increase productivity, accuracy, efficiency and but also poses the threat of creating a global “useless class” of humans says historian, Yuval Noah Harari.
Education systems play a vital role to support and create this new wave of future workers that will not fall into this ‘useless’ class but will be in demand tomorrow. A challenge to be tackled by new age education models because no one knows what skills learned at 20 will be relevant at 40 anymore.
Q: How is AI Academy’s approach to education, tackling this need for a different model to nurture relevant future talent?
While the traditional education system has been slow to respond; the AI Academy is on its own mission to deliver to the future demand, with a unique approach to learning and close collaborations with industry partners. It places much prominence on developing the emotional intelligence and creativity of students which will be crucial skills in a machine led future. Such skills will not only be important to thrive in society but also essential in developing responsible AI products and services which are bound to impact human lives in many aspects.
The AI Academy is ready to take on the challenge to disrupt the traditional teaching systems to prepare young people for these real opportunities that await them by making future relevant education accessible to the young generation in Sri Lanka.
Q: What is the difference in the learning method adopted by the AI Academy?
The learning model of the AI Academy is designed to ensure its graduates are well- rounded with both theoretical and practical knowledge of the technology and also remain relevant throughout their lives and careers despite the changing technology through principles such as project based learning, human centric approach to problem solving, lifelong learning skills and incubation and entrepreneurship.
Additionally, our students will be working hands- on from day one. While they will get a solid foundation in all quantitative domains, such as statistics, coding, and big data analytics infrastructure, machine learning, our students will be working on projects and actual business problems. Also, they will complement their data science and IT domain knowledge with specific business domain knowledge, such as Banking, Finance and Insurance services, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Travel and
We are also building a strong network of industry partners with companies such as Microsoft, that are pioneering in the field of AI, Robotics, IoT, cloud, so our students are always exposed to developments happening in the real- world than being focused on purely the academics.
Q: What are the types of jobs one could have by studying this field?
Among the range of established roles that are set to experience increasing demand are Data Analysts and Scientists, Software and Applications Developers, and Ecommerce and Social Media Specialists, roles that are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology.
Moreover, World Economic Forum’s report: Future of Jobs finds extensive evidence of accelerating demand for a variety of wholly new specialist roles related to understanding and leveraging the latest emerging technologies: AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Big Data Specialists, Process Automation Experts, Information Security Analysts, User Experience and Human- Machine Interaction Designers, Robotics Engineers, and Block chain Specialists and so much more!
The knowledge of this technology is one that will be useful for any job or industry whether it is becoming a doctor, banker, engineer or any other profession, AI knowledge will become a must. Therefore it is quite a high demand and versatile qualification to posses which is guaranteed to make you the most sought after talent in the future.
A free career talk will be open to those who wish pursue their higher education in AI, by Lin Gong Deutschmann, Co- founder and Managing Director of the AI Academy on Friday the 24th of July 3.00 – 4.30 pm at Colombo Innovation Tower followed by an opportunity for parents and students to discuss and get an insight firsthand.
The career talk is a free session with prior registration, reach out to info@ aiacademy. lk / call or WhatsApp : + 94 77 200 5522 to book your spot! Enrollments are also open for the undergraduate program and can be reached on the above contact details.