Corporate Conversations: Microsoft on the Future of Education with AI

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Microsoft U.S. Education Chief Innovation Officer Michael Jabbour talks about the challenges and opportunities that AI will continue to present for learners and educators.

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Michael Jabbour
Chief Innovation Officer

Hi. My name is Michael Jabbour. Most people call me MJ. I'm the Chief Innovation Officer for Microsoft Education. Currently, one of the greatest challenges we face in education is related to AI. While its expansion and overall impact remain uncertain, it's clear they will be significant.

In discussion with educational and IT leaders across the country, there's a collective endeavor to figure out the path ahead. A provost recently shared a thought-provoking idea with me. He said, "My university is essentially a blend of documents and people. And now, post-COVID, even buildings have lost their significance." AI is absorbing and understanding our documents and research. While educators and staff are evaluating new opportunities to teach amidst this transformation, this scenario represents one of the most profound disruptions in education, particularly to the conventional sage on a stage model.

As we chart our course into the future, there's a broad spectrum of considerations not only for us, but for our students as well. Topics such as AI safety, responsible AI practices, teacher empowerment, and incorporating student co-pilots are on the forefront. The implications of these advancements, on our teaching approaches, and how we prepare the next generation for life and work will be profound.

At Microsoft Education, we're actively engaging with our communities worldwide, focusing on three key areas derived from fields feedback, one, accelerating and personalizing learning, two, improving efficiency, and, three, giving time back to teachers and staff so that they can focus on what matters most.

Together, we're committed to preparing our students for the future and working towards ensuring a more equitable and accessible educational landscape. I'm excited to see the areas that we're spearheading.

On a personal note, I've been observing the behaviors of my own three-year-old who was born just before the pandemic and when she interacts with various AI assistants. It has been eyeopening, to say the least. Her interactions with these platforms reveal a generational shift in expectations. By the time she's five, the AI she interacts with will surpass the knowledge and eloquence of likely any individual she's going to meet in her lifetime. This reality underscores the imperative for our schools and our organizations to prepare our youth to interact in a different way with the world.

I'm optimistic about the future ahead. And at Microsoft, we're here to assist you on the journey of responsible and impactful AI innovation.