Education System in the AI era

This article discusses how the current education is burdened with the heavy crime of rote-learning and how the education system of the new AI-era needs to focus on those human traits that make us different from AI.

Rote Learning

These days partially or majorly every classroom is getting Digital & Interactive boards and projectors. Therefore, now Education is more video and image based in many schools. That is certainly better than one teacher talking to all students.

Even if we just talk about academic education, the principles on which our education system stands today are very under-developed according to the greatest educationalists, science leaders, business leaders and spiritual leaders. That is because it is based on rote learning. This is definitely true for Indian Education System. 

About abroad, I have lesser idea but from what I know there also rote learning is there but situation is relatively better than in India.

Some may say that if Indian Education System is poor then why are there so many CEOs of Tech Giants who are Indians and so many well educated in India. That is true but I think the cream of the intellectuals do not need good education. They need a gentle push and they are generally self-made and are often university dropouts. And in Spirituality on Mars we talk about the masses, not the cream, especially in rural education. But here I am talking about both rural and urban.

Continuing with what I was saying... Digital boards & projectors make education more visual and auditory but we still expect children to remember everything. In the age of chatGPT and Google, there is least use of it. When these kids will sit in a corporate office, they do not have to use their rotely learned information on Social Studies (lets say: American Revolution) or even computer science. If they want to know about anything, they can just Google it or use AI like ChatGPT. That is what happens in offices even today. 

It is not like for doctors who have to remember everything about human bodies and illnesses. Their ways may also change because of technology advancements.

Exams, marks, award system, etc, in our current education system, all of them encourage rote learning. Everything at school education level is mostly rote learning (except when children are preparing for competitive exams which can require a lot of problem solving abilities depending on the targeted exam). In most engineering colleges also, except the top ones, it is majorly rote learning.

I think having good memory and ability to memorize things is important but memorisation can't be the synonym of education.

I think it is obvious now that because of ChatGPT and AI advancements, rote learning will drastically reduce because all the memorising work is gradually shifting to AI. Every person in the world, including the corporate employees, will have a AI assistant (like chat GPT) who will have all kinds of answers. It will have not just the information like google provides but it will process that information to give you the best answers. (Just yesterday I needed a programming code for CORS proxy. I was finding it difficult to find a working code on Google. I thought let me give chatGPT a try. It gave me the code and the code ran perfectly without any issues.)

Also, AI will have a good deal of intelligence of its own to solve problems and tasks of developers, doctors, even politicians, business leaders, poets, artists and designers. To really be of any use to the employers and MNCs, the college passouts will need to be better critical thinkers, problem solvers, and have more creativity than chatGPT or AI because humans have upper hand in these skills. 

Without these skills, employees will be of much lesser use to the company. 

And humans can never compete with AI or any computer machine in rote learning and memorization. A small micro SD card or a pen drive can store all the information which a typical human being can store in the whole lifetime. And if an AI system has access to the internet, it can have access to so much information that probably a whole nation, or perhaps the whole planet, can not store in all its text books. 

So, we can never beat an AI or any technology system in memorising. 

Academic education in the coming age only makes sense if it is focused on critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and such skills. 

Even in medical industry, I think humans will probably have to remember less and less and they will rely on AI systems to diagnose the problems based on symptoms. I know doctors may not agree with me because they say that their diagnosis takes a lot into account, including the body language, what family of patients have to say, and so many random things in addition to simply the symptoms. That is true. But an AI system has an ability to take input on all these parameters and far beyond than what we can even imagine and make conclusions and it may even breakdown its analysis of the patient so that a doctor can recheck if the system is right in its conclusion. 

Basically, an AI system can do much more logical thinking than a human can. It can not do critical thinking because it learns from the information that is already available. Generally, it can not create something totally out of the box that has not been created before. To some extent it can, but humans can be much more innovative. At least, this is true for today and it is expected to continue, as per what I have read.

Also, I think AI can not feel so it can never replace a feeling based work. For ex: It can not replace an actual mother and caress, love, and take care of a child from a feeling perspective. 

An AI based robotic hand attached to a child's cot can simulate feeling by giving gentle motherly touches to a baby using a cushioned hand. It may even have a good quality speaker attached to it which has AI generated gentle and caring voice that can sing 'lori' (lullaby) or one of the million bollywood songs in its own AI-voice with or without background music. I can imagine future companies making an AI based cushion which has a physical shape as that of upper region of a mothers body with motherly robotic-hands attached to that body. This cushioned robotic mother may be fitted inside a child's cot. The hands will be able to pic the child gently and put in a human-like cushioned lap. Possibilities are endless.

While it is doing all this, the real mom will do chores in the other room or will be busy with working remotely. If AI systems can be made very trust-worthy, such systems are not far away from seeing light of the day.

But such AI systems can not "feel". So, one can not have a fulfilling relationship with an AI robot no matter how much human like it behaves. A baby trying to have a relationship and emotional fulfillment from an AI based robotic mother will lead to bigger emotional voids I think. For parents as well, especially mothers, it will negatively affect the emotional side of their consciousness and they are likely to feel more detached from their children. And that is likely to lead to dysfunctional families.

(So, psychologists will probably increase. Of course, these psychologists will have to be much better than AI-psychologists to stay in business.)

The AI based robot mother is my speculation but it is very much possible I think. It is possible technically and if it is possible technically then someone will probably make it or they are already making them somewhere. And because it reduces efforts of mothers and frees them to do other things, so they are likely to buy them. 

What is generally believed is that critical thinking and problem solving skills are very critical for academic education of now and future. They were critical in the past also but now they are much more critical.

Education focused on non-replaceable Human Qualities

In addition to these we also need to focus on the other abilities of humans in which AI is not capable enough. Education system needs to focus on these skills because they are critical for future human workforce.

“The future of education lies in empowering young learners to embrace and develop their uniquely human qualities – those unlikely to ever be replaced by technology.”

— World Economic Forum, Defining Education 4.0: A Taxonomy for the Future of Learning Report

Plz read this article on World Economic Forum. The above quote comes from this article.

Defining Education 4.0: A Taxonomy for the Future of Learning Report:

There is a white paper on this topic linked in the above article. That too is by the World Economic Forum.

The article lists the following critical skills to be inculcated in the education system:


- Creativity

- Critical thinking

- Digital skills and programming

- Problem solving

- Systems analysis

- Collaboration

- Communication

- Negotiation

- Socio-emotional awareness

- Balance, coordination, Positional awareness, strength


- Adaptability

- Conscientiousness

- Curiosity

- Grit (Perseverance + Desire to achieve a Goal)

- Growth mindset (The understanding that abilities aren't set in stone and skills can improve over time.)

- Initiative

- Civic responsibility

- Environmental stewardship

- Empathy and kindness

- Global citizenship


- Area-specific (Generally termed as Academics)

Education plan given in the article divides the traits to be cultivated in different categories

SoM Schools

Spirituality on Mars will be focussing greatly on most of these skills and beyond. I have noticed that education institutes say in the advertisements, prospectuses, and mission statements that they focus on such skills but if you visit their institute and do a deeper check, you find that they are just like everyone else and all that they wrote publicly about focussing on these skills was just to sound impressive. 

(I once visited a well known and big school in a Tier 2 city in India. They wrote prominently in their mission statement on their website that they were focussed on Physical, Mental and Spiritual development of children. When me and a few friends visited them, we found they did not even have a playground and no open space to play & run and nothing else which would allow them to claim that they were focussing on all the 3 aspects of development of a child. Otherwise the school had a very good infrastructure and was among the prominent schools in the city.) 

SoM's educational institutes will do what they say. They will have more freedom to implement such unconventional ideas because they will not follow CBSE, ICSE, or International boards. Also, for the most part they will not follow NCERT or other textbooks followed in these schools. Just like other alternative schools in India, especially Mirambika Free Progress School (New Delhi), SoM schools will also have their own curriculum built by the teachers, no text books for majority of the subjects, zero or nearly zero exams till 8th class (boards will be there in 10th and 12th).

Most of the study in SoM will be hands-on and experiential. Children will be actively involved in the learning process. They will be more involved in problem solving, projects, creating things on a computer or by hand, researching a topic (using Google or ChatGPT like AI) to find solutions, creating presentations, presenting their project work regular to other students (and teachers and parents like in the Mirambika Free Progress school), playing in nature, playing under trees, playing with birds & pets, and much more.