The future of AI and how it will affect schools and students

“Get up, it’s time for school,” Stormy, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system in the corner of my room, says to me. It supposedly woke me up at the ‘best’ time by analyzing my sleep pattern and the number of hours I sleep. However, for me, the best time is never.

“Shut up,” I said back to Stormy as I groggily got out of bed. 

“Ariya, let’s be nice,” my mom said as she walked into my room. `

Although the Stormy was annoying, it helped sometimes in case my parents were gone and I overslept. 

“Yeah, yeah I know,” I responded, walking past her to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth, and my advanced toothbrush told me how to brush them most efficiently. It also monitored my teeth for cavities and other gum diseases.

I went downstairs as the Stormy started my favorite song and the toaster immediately loaded itself with bread for my breakfast. Based on the weather conditions, Stormy set out the best clothes for today. She also considered my liking for each outfit and the events of the day ahead. 

My parents have constantly told me about their childhood and how they didn’t have this fancy technology, but I can’t imagine life without it. 

 “Come on Ariya, you’re gonna be late” my mom called.

 “Coming” I shouted while stuffing the toast in my mouth. I grabbed my bag and sprinted to the self-driving car. 

My school is filled with such AI systems. Unlike the “standard” way of teaching, as my parents call it, each person in my school is fitted with an AI that will gauge the level of each student to make sure they are placed in the correct classes and learn the correct material. 

I love this system. I don’t have to sit in a class learning things that I already know. I get very bored when I learn things that I already know. The use of AI perfectly makes me interested and eager to learn something I am genuinely interested in. I also like how the system keeps me engaged by explaining in a way that appeals to me.

As I headed into the building, the scanner detected me as a student and let me in. I walked to my friends Max and Sabrina who were deep in conversation.

“What’s up, guys?” I asked as I walked to them. 

“Did you hear about the petition?” Sabrina asked me. 

“What? No,” I responded curiously.

“Apparently,” Max started. “Some teachers started a petition to remove a lot of AI technology from our school, and a TON of people are signing it.” Sabrina jumped in. “We were thinking of signing it ourselves.” “What? Why?” I questioned, “AI is great. It’s so helpful”. “Maybe, but I feel that it sometimes knows too much about our lives,” said Max. 

Before I could say anything, the bell rang. With the thought still circulating in my head, I went to math. The rest of the day was a blur. All I thought about was what I could do to stop the petition. AI systems might have their faults but in my school life, the pros far outweigh the cons. I could not imagine a life without it.

In the next few days, more people started talking about the petition, and even worse, they started signing it. I became very worried that this would cause our school to change, and that it might hurt a lot of people. I felt like I was the only one advocating against it. I tried talking people out of signing the petition, but my voice was lost in the chaos.

One night, I mentioned the petition to my parents to see how they felt, “Are you going to sign it?” I asked my parents. “No, but that doesn’t mean we feel that AI is without flaws” my dad responded. I was awake the whole night in worry. I was horror-struck when it was announced the next day that AI would be permanently removed after the winter holidays. I felt hopeless; nothing I could do, nothing I could say would change that fact. 

Coming back from the winter holiday, the whole school felt on edge. Everything was completely different. The school was like the “old style” of teaching that my parents talked about. I tried to take this with an open mind, but everything felt completely off. I started finding the class boring again as I was taught some of the material I already knew or it was too difficult to understand. Although many had protested, no one seemed happy about the new change.

AI systems acted like a good friend and companion to me all these days. I liked that it knew me well and responded to my needs. It had its faults. I needed human teachers to fill my emotional needs that a machine could never understand. I also needed my teacher to brainstorm my creative ideas. There was always a fear someone could hack into the system and compromise my identity. Despite the faults, they served a good purpose in my life.

After the year finished, the principal spoke to the school about the miraculous and eventful school year. However, as he went into the negative consequences of the removal of AI, something he said piqued my interest. “As some of you may know, after the recent removal of AI in our school, the average test scores have been rapidly decreasing. I have been talking to the school district and although it is not guaranteed, AI may return to the school.” 

The whole crowd erupted with noise. Some in the crowd rejoiced and some were sorrowful. As for me, I was happy that AI was coming back! I knew that this was going to happen. AI has helped me. Without it, my life would feel incomplete.

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