VET SUMMIT San Sebastián group photo - focus on artificial intelligence

The growth of artificial intelligence – an opportunity for VET

Between the 22nd and 23rd of November, the EfVET team had the pleasure to participate in the International VET Summit Congress in San Sebastián, with a main focus on artificial intelligence.

The main goal of this event was to reflect, together with high level speakers, on the influence of the latest technological developments in training, employment, economy and society, with a specific focus on the following categories:

  1. Intelligent technologies: this will focus, among other topics, on the most recent developments on the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, intelligent systems or the robotics revolution combined with the above mentioned.
  2. Life and technology: with a focus on the influence of the future technology on our lives, such as, smart cities, new organizational concepts, health…
  3. The human being in the face of the advancement of technology: which focuses on human values in face of the influence of technologies that will be developed in the future.

Throughout the two days, the VET Summit made it clear: AI won’t destroy jobs. It will benefit the creation of innovative technologies and reshape the skills and competencies in the workforce. All speakers clearly underlined the need of a human centric approach. This will be crucial for the future of the job market, and soft skills will remain on demand. This means that we should put our heart on the job, as this will make the difference between AI and humans. Therefore, we need to focus on detaching ourselves from certain responsibilities and do what we do with meaning and trying to be happy.

Right now, artificial intelligence is in place to answer any question, and cognitive intelligence will not only answer questions that may be asked to it but will also be able to ask itself questions and answer them. “It’s crucial to have people prepared to generate creative solutions to complex problems, for which there is no recipe, and they are key to the education of the future.” – Jorge Arévalo, vice-Minister of VET. Department of Education, Basque Government.

Paolo Nardi, director at EfVET, was invited to speak during one of the parallel panels: “VET, facing the challenge of smart technologies”. He underlined that the teacher or the trainer are improving their skills as well as trying to identify specific problems.

He added an example related to the Oppenheimer film, in which, at a certain moment you couldn’t control it but a research team starts with a different role than the one they had to identify the nuclear reaction. The nuclear reaction is the fact that we could create a bomb and this bomb could create something that is leading the decision, but I’m saying as advance sector teacher-trainer but even manager how are we going to shape the mindset, the cultural approach of our learners and it’s going to happen soon.

During the second day the last speaker places the emphasis on what we cannot forget we need to improve the vocational education and training that can we offer to our students. During this congress, EfVET staff and EfVET members shared their experience, good practices and passion for Vocational Education Training.

In conclusion, we know that artificial intelligence has tremendous potential to make us more productive, but a human-centred approach must be adopted for that to happen. Every single day and time a robot, and an automatic device replaces a person in a specific process, a new scenario of relations between technology and human beings arises, in which people’s talent will become even more important. Therefore, we believe that everyone will be able to collaborate with the machines to do better things.

We want to thank the Basque Government for the invitation it was an amazing summit with fruitful and enriching discussions and conversations.


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