Artificial Intelligence literacy skills must be incorporated in university curriculums to prepare students for in-demand graduate-level jobs.   

AI-based technologies have now become an integral part of every industry as well as our daily life. New graduates who are not AI literate will find it hard to find graduate-level jobs. AI is influencing and transforming the workplace. Graduates need to be prepared to face the world in the AI era. For this reason, universities must be ready to adapt and provide AI literacy training to their students in all disciplines.    

Education institutions need to train their students to live and work in a society where they must interact with Artificial Intelligence in one way or another in both work and personal life. We have reached a point where AI literacy is not any longer an option but a requirement for most in-demand jobs. In education, AI literacy must comprise both a hands-on learning experience and a theoretical perspective.  

Since its launch, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has generated an increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). In fact, it has, perhaps, become the most relevant contribution to the acceleration of AI mainstream adoption. As we embark and utilize AI-based technologies such as ChatGPT more frequently and realize their novel ethical issues, both students and faculty must have a variety of knowledge and skills about AI.

In the educational sector, there is an imminent shift from digital literacy to AI literacy. The fundamental question of what makes a human AI literate is still in a state of evolution. Yet, AI literacy is something that every student must be exposed to. AI literacy does not belong only and exclusively to those who are on a computer science path but must include everyone.

AI literacy has become a fundamental pillar in education. Those who will remain AI illiterate in the future, will have less opportunities. AI must be incorporated into every course and curriculum in order to reflect the AI era we live in, to have a better understanding of the world around us, and to be aware of its impact on everyday life. Future professionals, even those who are not computer scientists, mathematicians, or AI engineers will have to interact with these new technologies on a daily basis.

AI literate is someone who possesses the ability to understand, use, monitor, and critically reflect on AI applications without necessarily being able to develop AI models themselves. A frequently cited definition of AI literacy was developed by Long and Magerko in 2020, who define it as “a set of competencies that enables individuals to critically evaluate AI technologies, communicate, and collaborate effectively with AI, and use AI as a tool online, at home, and in the workplace.”

Many governments have recognized the need for AI literacy programs and a few free government-supported programs are currently available, such as Elements of AI from Finland, created by MinnaLearn and the University of Helsinki (available in English and 16 other languages), aiming to strengthen AI literacy for non-experts and is available to anyone in the world, and AI Campus from Germany developed by the Humboldt University of Berlin, the FernUniversität in Hagen, the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), and other partners (available in English and German), a learning platform focused on learners that specifically addresses the needs of individual sectors such as the use of AI in medicine. Both learning platforms for AI are available free of charge.

For other articles on AI in higher education, see:

How Universities Can Better Prepare Students for a Future with AI

Student Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence in Academia

How to Integrate AI into Higher Education

Artificial Intelligence is The Future of Teaching and Learning