Blog post
October 26, 2023
Gavin Vaughan

Artificial Intelligence in Education and the Workplace: A Deep Dive

Organisation growth

Earlier this year, Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley held an open discussion around the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as part of the North East's first tech festival, TechNExt.

As part of TechNExt 2023, Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (DCNETV) hosted a thought-provoking open discussion on the topic of AI in education and the workplace. The event brought together educators, parents, students, experts in the AI field based across the North East and Tees Valley, thought leaders, and industry professionals to explore the potential implications of AI in shaping the future of education and work.

The Growing Significance of AI as a Digital Tool

As part of the discussion, it was acknowledged that in recent years, AI has emerged as a key enabler witnessing substantial growth in its applications as a malleable digital tool. Its adoption in the business world has been swift due to its efficacy and user-friendliness. Even beyond tech companies, various industries are embracing AI cautiously as it becomes ubiquitous to us as a calculator or a spell checker. To ensure a skilled workforce capable of leveraging AI effectively and safely, it is becoming increasingly crucial to equip upcoming generations with a comprehensive understanding of AI and its diverse applications.

Challenges in AI Integration in Education

Despite AI's prevalent use in business settings, there are still hurdles preventing young people from using it as a resource within their studies. Striking the right balance between encouraging AI utilisation and fostering critical thinking skills poses a significant challenge for educators. Students must learn to ask the right prompts, edit provided information, and apply their skills thoughtfully. By cultivating an understanding of AI from an early stage, educators can prepare students for an AI-dominated future while ensuring they are well prepared for.

Parental and Educator Involvement

Participants highlighted the importance of removing fear associated with AI usage in education. If children are discouraged from using AI tools, they may miss out on valuable learning experiences and opportunities for growth. Parents play a vital role in nurturing their children's curiosity and openness to explore AI, while educators must actively prepare students for a future where AI will have a profound impact. Encouraging conversations about AI and its potential can help dispel misconceptions and fear. That said, educators made it clear that the right balance needed to be struck to ensure that the potential pitfalls of using AI were understood by young people as well as the importance of using the tools in an ethical and responsible way.

Balancing Human-Machine Relationships in the Workplace

A crucial aspect of AI integration in the workplace is the need to strike a balanced approach to human-machine relationships. While AI tools can enhance productivity, it is essential to avoid creating an overly demanding work environment. By leveraging AI in innovative ways, such as optimising the 37.5-hour workweek, or explore new, more efficient work paradigms. Building positive relationships between humans and machines is vital for fostering a successful AI workforce.

This discussion on AI in education and the workplace shed light on the immense potential and challenges posed by AI in shaping our future. Embracing AI as a powerful tool while nurturing critical thinking skills in students will be key to harnessing its benefits responsibly. Encouraging open dialogue and involving parents, educators, and industry experts will pave the way for a well-prepared workforce capable of utilising AI's to a much better work life balance.

Final Thoughts

TechNExt is coming back to the North East in on the 17th to the 21st of June 2024 and will be a jam packed celebration of our growing tech sector. The festival features a wide range of events across the region that spotlights the best tech organisations that we have to offer. If you would like to learn more, you can check out the TechNExt website for the latest updates.

If you have any questions related to AI, please get in touch with our innovation team at: