Summary

This article examines the impact that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are having on the number and nature of jobs at Canada’s banks.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Business studies, world issues, economics

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What is AI?
  • What impact are automation and AI having on employment?
  • What does the future hold?

New Terminology:

AI

Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Learning Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Automation and its impact on the number and nature of jobs has long been a topic of discussion.  Fear of mass unemployment exists at one end while efficiency and free time complete the spectrum at the other end. With the advent of AI there is further concern about the impact on the nature of future jobs. What will the future hold? What skills will be needed in order to secure a viable and rewarding job? Will AI ultimately take control? Science fiction writers have long prophesied a world in which artificial intelligence has made man subservient. But how much truth is there in this? Where are we headed? What signs are there that indicate the direction we are taking? Will this ultimately be a good thing or a bad thing? These are some of the issues this lesson will have the students address by using the article as a kickoff to these discussions.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to explain what is meant by the term “AI”.
  • Once they have identified the meaning and everyone has an understanding of the term, ask them if they think AI is a good thing or a curse.
  • Have them now explain how they think AI will enhance automation and what the implications are of that advancement.
  • Divide the class into groups of five or six.
  • Provide the students with a copy of the article and allow them time to read it.
  • Assign the following task to the groups:
    • Discuss your reactions to what you have just read and list any concerns that arise during that discussion.
  • Hold a brief plenary session to compile a list of concerns but do not have the groups discuss the implications of those concerns.
  • Assign the following tasks to the groups:
    • Does your group believe that automation and AI promise a better future?
    • How will automation and AI change the nature of future employment?
    • Should there be safeguards developed to control them? If so, what? If not, why not?
    • Considering the future that we will live in, do you believe that AI will be seen as beneficial or detrimental to human life?

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have the groups provide their reports and respond to any questions or comments that may arise.
Success

Success Criteria:

The students will be able to:

  • Explain the term AI;
  • Offer ideas as to how automation and AI will affect the future;
  • Explain why they believe automation and AI will ultimately prove to be either a disaster or great benefit to humanity.

Confirming Activity:

  • Assign a personal writing assignment in which the students will explain whether a future with AI concerns them.