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🚀 Touch the future!

My adventurous journey in AI land has this week taken me to the sunshine state of Florida

I had the privilege of keynoting at the STEM Leadership Alliance Summit in Orlando. Imagine being surrounded by a galaxy of brilliant minds, all fervently shaping the future of education in the USA. Their passion is infectious, and their resolve unshakeable.

Last night I carved out some time for an intriguing escapade in Clermont. There, I crossed paths with Lyndse and Nick. The Senior Director of Innovation & Technology at Orlando Economic Partnership, Lyndse brings an electrifying energy to her role. We chatted about the future of upskilling for the AI era and Lyndse's approach to helping people with wellbeing. Very inspirational. Her husband Nick is a trailblazer carving his own path in the realm of fashion entrepreneurship. Ever stepped into a store where every item tells a story? That’s Nick’s Thift Headz for you. This 'treasure trove' is a playground for lovers of unique, pre-owned clothing.

On Friday, I embarked on an extraordinary encounter at the iconic Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ariana the Client Partner Government and Aerospace for Unity and Brittany, a metaverse creator, NASA developer Kurt led us on a breathtaking tour of one of the most iconic places on earth. 

As Kurt led us through a tour that can only be described as transcendent, we were awestruck by the gargantuan Saturn 5 rocket, the very likeness of the one that propelled the Apollo astronauts to the moon, and the awe-inspiring Atlantis Space Shuttle. Amidst these marvels of human achievement, I paused to remember the brave Challenger astronauts who gave their lives for space exploration in 1986.

This memorial to teacher and astronaut Christa McAuliffe really struck me:

We're surfing the cutting-edge of a world-altering techno-revolution. 

We're not talking steampunk dreams or dystopian futures. This is now. A world where hyper-intelligent algorithms, fuelled by behemoths like ChatGPT, are poised to send shockwaves through every societal construct, from Westminster to Wall Street, from a high-tech startup to your nan's knitting club.

The hallowed halls of traditional education systems are not immune to this tidal wave of change. Our schools, colleges and universities must learn to dance with this digital dynamo, ensuring the future-proofing of their hallowed halls and, crucially, the students wondering around them. AI's potential to shake up education is as tantalising as a Hendrix solo – not only changing what we teach, but how we rock that stage (Sorry - I’m listening to ACDC as I write this).

Critics hone in on the off-key notes, but focusing on these misses the intoxicating symphony of possibilities AI could bring to the education stage, blasting us into a future we're only just beginning to imagine.

Students are already riffing off this beat, embracing AI with fervour. The maestros of this digital symphony are not the AI models, but us, the humans pulling the strings. We have the potential to light up the stage, harnessing the raw power of AI to create a future concert that outshines anything we've seen before (Sorry still listening)

Don't let the fear of the 'final encore' stop you from embracing the transformative power of AI.

We need to throw open the stage doors and turn our educators into AI-savvy rockstars. This includes access to cutting-edge tech, collaborations across disciplines, and a chance to innovate Box 3 style!

The world's constantly evolving tune is seeing AI join the band with each passing day, playing a more significant role. Institutions face a simple choice: ride the wave or suffer at the hands of competitors who are using AI (that includes schools). We should be embracing AI, not as a scary unknown, but as a tool that equips our students for the future, constantly touching the ever-changing horizon.

The goal is clear: empower students, broadening the scope of education. AI isn't a scary monster; it's the funky new instrument we all have to learn to play. Wishing it away? Take some guidance from Christa McAuliffe and touch the future.

This week I'm looking forward to speaking about AI at:

  • Florida Southwestern State College, Fort Meyers
  • PBS Studios in Tallahassee, Florida