Preparing the Next Generation: Teaching AI Thinking and Design Innovation

The world is rapidly advancing in technology, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is transforming various industries, including education. As the director of the Stanford AIRE program, Li Jiang recognizes the potential of AI and is passionate about revolutionizing the way we teach the next generation. In this blog article, we will explore the importance of teaching AI thinking and design innovation to prepare children for the era of AI and robotics in education.

The Power of AI and Robotics in the Future of Education

AI and robotics have proven to be powerful tools that can accomplish tasks more efficiently and economically than human labor. As AI capabilities expand, jobs that can be done faster and cheaper by machines will inevitably disappear. It is crucial to embrace AI’s potential rather than shying away from it, as it can give us a competitive edge in a technology-driven world.

Teaching AI Thinking: Understanding the Intersection of Human and AI Abilities

To prepare the next generation for the AI era, it is essential to instill AI thinking early on. This involves developing a general understanding of how AI works, moving beyond traditional rule-based algorithms to explore the potential of deep learning and reinforcement learning based on data. By leveraging vast amounts of data, AI can find optimized solutions that humans may miss, making it vital to differentiate between human and AI abilities.

Fostering Innovation through Design Thinking

Creativity and innovation are crucial skills for the future, and teaching children how to generate new ideas and utilize AI to assist them is paramount. Design Thinking, a methodology used at Stanford, offers a systematic approach to innovation. It starts with empathizing with users, defining the problem clearly, generating ideas through brainstorming, and prototyping solutions. Through iterations, this process encourages children to become more innovative than they thought possible.

AI in Education: The Impact of ChatGPT

One of the most surprising AI developments is ChatGPT, an AI language model capable of conversing naturally and even writing code. Its presence has significant implications for education, as students can use it to complete assignments and essays. Teachers must embrace this technology and explore how it can be integrated into the learning process, ultimately preparing students for a future where AI plays a significant role in education.

Inspiring Dreams with Robotics

In the early stages of life, children possess vivid dreams and aspirations. However, as they grow older, these dreams often fade away. Robotics can be a powerful tool to rekindle those dreams, as it captivates young minds with the possibility of creating cool robots. Encouraging and nurturing such dreams is essential for preparing the next generation to face the challenges of the future.


The era of AI and robotics is not on the distant horizon—it is already here. To ensure that the next generation thrives in this dynamic landscape, it is crucial to incorporate AI thinking and design innovation into education. By understanding the power of AI, differentiating human and AI abilities, fostering creativity through Design Thinking, and embracing tools like ChatGPT and robotics, we can inspire and equip young minds for a future full of possibilities. Educators, parents, and society at large must work together to create the ideal education system that empowers children to be the innovators and dreamers of tomorrow.