U.S. students build robotic cars using computers and coding at STEM education science engineering class. But children in China are better versed in AI. (Source: Adobe Stock)

U.S. Schools Fall Behind as China Mandates AI Education at Early Ages

Kayla Goode and Dahlia Peterson, contributors to thehill.com, have written a positive story about how the U.S. and China have competitive systems on practically every level, including AI. However, they report that AI is not required to be taught to younger U.S. generations, which is vastly different from the approach by the Communist countries.

The writers are experts in their fields: Kayla Goode is a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), where she works on the CyberAI Project. Dahlia Peterson is a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).

They say that China appears to be well-positioned to take the lead when it comes to AI talent. They said:

“China is actively integrating AI into every level of its education system, while the United States has yet to embrace AI education as a strategic priority. To maintain its competitive edge, the United States also needs to adopt AI education and workforce policies that are targeted and coordinated. Such policies must also increase AI-specific federal investment and encourage industry partnerships.”

In recent years, AI education materials have spread nationwide outside the classroom, with a rise in online AI education programs at all levels, including K-12 summer camps, “boot camps,” and a range of certificates and industry-academia partnerships, according to the researchers.

“Nearly 300 different organizations now offer AI or computer science summer camps to K-12 students.”

Education Builds AI Dominance

The article points out one major weakness is the Chinese education system requires certain studies, while the U.S. system offers certain studies. That’s a huge difference in simply the number of people who become exposed to or educated in AI. Out of that number, many may actually excel at it.

Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) reveals that China’s Ministry of Education is rapidly implementing AI curricula across all education levels and has mandated high schools to teach AI coursework since 2018.

“Implementing competitive AI education across the United States is no easy task — there are no shortcuts and no single solution. There are, however, two elements that education leaders and policymakers should prioritize: coordination and investment.”

The writers say federal funding can help close accessibility gaps between states. They think that the White House’s National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office for Education and Training can help coordinate AI education, training, and workforce development policy across the country.

With the amount of tension and competition for world leadership at stake daily between these two nations, it is a cinch that neither one wants to fall behind in the AI race. Especially since successful quantum computing has already been reported by the Chinese.

And it is clear the education of the next generation will make all the difference.

Read more at thehill.com