I’m not the first to say it, but the generative AI boom is here – and it’s bringing massive opportunities for creative learning.
In fact, we’re entering the age of the AI personal tutor. Of all the learning media available, personal, one-on-one tutoring has the strongest evidence for learning impact. According to educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom’s 2 sigma, this kind of tutoring is actually two standard deviations better than other learning models.
Of course, generative AI isn’t a human tutor, and we have yet to see if an AI personal tutor will be able to replicate the learning motivation and efficacy that comes from human connection and empathy. But what is perhaps more promising is the potential for collaboration between AI and human tutors to increase both tutor productivity and learning impacts for students. In any case, it’s clear that we’re on the cusp of AI-boosted teaching and learning, and these advancements are coming much faster than human behavior can adapt.
So, how do we change our mindset and behavior to maximize our potential with generative AI? And, what does that mean for creators?
I had the opportunity to hear Sam Altman, founder and CEO of OpenAI, speak at the 2023 ASU + GSV Summit in April. Here’s how he said he would approach generative AI if he were just starting his career:
“I would get as comfortable with the tech as I could. Really try to develop a native feel for it, prepare myself for a high rate of change in the world […] and a lot of resilience and ability to adapt to new things and try new things quickly.”
I think Sam is right about the importance of resilience and adapting rapidly. As I discussed in my last blog post, games are one of the best learning media to teach us “the resilience to keep trying and learning from our failures, the creativity to face a new problem and solve it with no rulebook, and the resourcefulness needed to figure out solutions.” While it may seem like generative AI is poised to make resilience and resourcefulness unnecessary, I’d argue that learners will just need enhanced critical thinking skills to deftly evaluate solutions and make the right choices.
I’m not only recommending we play more games that build our resilience and adaptability – I’m also recommending we start adapting our behavior with generative AI by gamifying how we learn to use it.
As you do when beginning a new game, get curious and start tinkering with the hundreds of AI tools that have popped up over the last few months. Choose a few of your favorites, commit to embedding them in some key parts of your day to day, and take note of what you discover about your own learning. Learn something new that you never thought you could do – some of my favorite stories are of people who couldn’t build a video game in Unity at first, but are now doing it in a few hours. Play together with your team or community and talk about what’s helping you save time, create higher-quality experiences, and expand your creative possibilities. Measure and track your learning achievements with generative AI: Where are you more productive? How many new things have you learned? How are you changing how you learn?
There’s incredible potential here to maximize human creativity. Chris Dede, professor in Learning Technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, describes the ideal state:
“As we understand the complementarity between human strengths and the strengths of AI, what is ideally going to happen in the workforce is a partnership between humans and AI called IA, Intelligence Augmentation. In this relationship, the person does what he or she does well, the AI does what it does well, and the whole is more than the sum of the parts. The partnership can accomplish more than either side can on its own.”
At Unity, our hypothesis is that generative AI will empower creators to dream bigger than ever before. We believe we should be learning to create and leveraging generative AI at the same time.
Hopefully, learning to create becomes more accessible to more people, and the possibilities for innovation continue to grow as we let AI handle the time-consuming tasks it’s best-suited for. Then, over time, we’ll be expanding our collective capacity to truly make the world a better place with more creators in it.