Altru Salon: Higher Education in the Age of AI

April 16, 2019Altru members and their guests are invited to join a discussion with the President of Northeastern University on the role of higher education in the age of AI.

How can higher education prepare learners for their professional lives when professions themselves are disappearing?

Joseph Aoun proposes a way to educate the next generation of learners to invent, to create, and to discover – to fill needs in a society that even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence agent cannot. He argues that a “robot-proof” education is not concerned solely with topping up minds with high-octane facts. Rather, through an experiential learning model, it calibrates them with a creative mindset and the mental elasticity to invent, discover, or create something valuable to society. A new discipline, humanics, will build on our innate strengths and prepare us to compete in a labor market in which smart machines work alongside human professionals. And lifelong learning opportunities will support our ability to adapt to change. Aoun describes these ideas in his critically acclaimed book. Robot Proof – Higher Education in the Age of AI

Joseph E. Aoun, a well-known higher education thought leader and renowned scholar in linguistics, is the seventh President of Northeastern University. Under his leadership, the university has significantly increased its growth in external research funding, created a network of campuses across North America, established leadership in flexible lifelong learning, and recruited 60 percent of its tenured and tenure-track faculty.  

President Aoun received his Ph.D. in linguistics and philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and advanced degrees from the University of Paris (France) VIII and Saint Joseph University (Beirut, Lebanon). He was recently appointed as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the President of the French Republic. 

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