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Robots and AI to replace doctors, lawyers and drivers

Schools need to overhaul their curriculum to prepare for radical changes in industry, a Leeds Beckett University academic has warned.


The UK will be left behind unless subjects - particularly science - adapt for a step-change in working environments, labelled "the Fourth Industrial Revolution".

Dr John Baruch heads up the recently-launched Centre for Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution at Leeds Beckett.

John Baruch

He outlined his ideas this week at the House of Commons having been invited to give evidence to the Education Committee (above), which has set up a Parliamentary enquiry.

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring a great leap in productivity, and Britain simply cannot be left behind," said Dr Baruch, who is a visiting professor at both Leeds Beckett and China's top-rated higher education institute, Tsinghua University in Beijing.

In the same way that steam replaced muscle power during the first industrial revolution and led to the UK ruling the world, the fourth industrial revolution will replace much memory and experience-based work, according to Dr Baruch.

"Robots and Artificial Intelligence will replace many lawyers, doctors, accountants, and jobs in manufacturing and transport," he said.

"New Industries will be based on innovation and creativity with the current explosion in science knowledge.

"In the classroom, it will help the teacher to personalise education for all students. It will end the use of exams based on memory to regurgitate knowledge.

"Exams will move to testing creativity with project work, problem solving and practical work, especially in science.

"The continuing growth of the Gig Economy will accelerate, bringing with it relative unemployment and insecurity leading to greater social inequality, alienation, impoverishment and destitution without a strong move towards education focussed on innovation and creativity.

"Lifelong learning is an essential transition tool. In my experience adults with their greater experience of life are potentially better innovators and more creative than school leavers.
"They need to learn to work creatively in teams, valuing diversity, and with education supporting their passions in programmes that build their confidence to innovate."

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