AI literacy, explained

By Alyson Klein

K-12 students have grown up in a world where artificial intelligence informs what their families buy at the grocery store,how scientists track the spread of diseases, and even how the photo filters work on their favorite social media apps.

But the technology was largely invisible to them—and their teachers—until a new version of ChatGPT burst onto the educational scene late last year. The tool can spit out an essay on Shakespeare, a detective novel, or a legal brief that appears remarkably like something a human has labored over. It can also do computer coding.

The technology poured accelerant on a conversation already underway: Now that AI is shaping nearly every aspect of our lives and is expected to transform fields from medicine to agriculture to policing, what do students need to understand about AI to be prepared for the world of work? To be a smart consumer and a responsible citizen?

Related Content