MIT program fosters early AI education for future workforce

By Noelle Knell

Fears around AI are both understandable and possibly a bit over-reported. There are many dangers to guard against. But let’s not allow that to blind us to its myriad possibilities, many of which you’ll read about in this AI-focused issue of GT. With our coverage, we set out to explore the current state of AI and how state and local governments can incorporate it into the work they do on behalf of their constituents. But let’s also consider the broader implications of AI.

Cynthia Breazeal is the founder and director of the Personal Robots group at MIT’s Media Lab. Breazeal is widely known as a pioneer of the social robotics field, which advances innovations in robotics where robots learn and respond to social cues and develop advanced connections with humans. She also directs the university’s efforts to foster AI understanding throughout the workforce and K-12 education through a program called MIT RAISE, which stands for Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education.

The emphasis on upskilling today’s workforce correlates to rapid growth in the number of job openings for the skilled employees needed to build next-generation innovations that involve AI. And those numbers continue to trend upward, with CompTIA reporting that job postings in AI or requiring skills in AI grew by 2,000 between December 2023 and January 2024.

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