It’s often suggested that artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually take over all the skilled tasks that humans carry out. However, argues Prof. Iain Alasdair MacLeod of Strathclyde University, a key ability in human affairs is to successfully manage complex uncertainty. The human brain is especially suited to such tasks while even the most advanced AI methods do not come close to replicating the needed functionality.
Recognising this, he says, means that we must think afresh about education, which traditionally teaches us to think about known situations and apply known techniques to solve them. Instead education has to expand into the territory where human brains can demonstrate some of their greatest intellectual potential – coping with situations where there is a complex mix of uncertainty and finding a solution that can carry us through.