The Fragmentation of Culture, Learning, Teaching and Technology: Implications for the Artificial Intelligence in Education Research Agenda in 2010

In IJAIED 11 (2): "Special Issue on AIED 2010"

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My goal in this paper is to try to characterize Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIEd) research a decade hence. By then, the increasing universality of information technology will have so overloaded people with information that they will find it necessary to drastically constrain their interactions in cyberspace. The result will be a major trend to localization, not globalization. This localization will have two main aspects, both resulting in a fragmented social environment. The first is that people will live in their own personal electronic villages, and will view cyberspace locally from there, accessing only that information and contacting only those other people that are consistent with their own perspectives and goals. The second is that cyberspace will be partitioned into a massive number of virtual communities each with a global geographic reach but a narrow conceptual focus. People in their villages will be members of only a few such communities. Knowledge will flow relatively slowly from community to community, impacting people only when it enters their village through the communities in which they participate. This will, of course, have major impact on the nature of learning and teaching, which, in turn, will affect the AIEd research agenda. The issues the field considers to be important, the kinds of technology that it builds, even the way research is carried out, may all be transformed.