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eCommerce Advice: Learning AI as an adult

eCommerce Advice: Learning AI as an adult

Question: What are the best ways to teach artificial intelligence to adult learners in continuing education?

Answer below:

  1. As the teacher, you have to deconstruct many of the concepts to convey them in ways that normal people (and not just engineers) can understand. Do not start with the math or any complex logic concepts. This will alienate the learner from pursuing this as a topic of study. The specific challenge for teachers in this scenario is that there is very little likelihood that you will be able to bring your students up to speed on the math and logic quickly enough to use those concepts to convey the lessons. You have to get creative to break through. 
  2. Understand that mathematics and logic on the level required for AI can take a decade or more of continuous study to master. An adult learner most likely lacks the bandwidth or inclination to make up the difference in their free time. Even if they found a way to make this happen, chances are very high that you'd need to start teaching them AI five years or more down the road if you were waiting for them to reach optimal proficiency. To start teaching them now, see point #1. 
  3. Meet these learners where they are in their educational journey. This should be personalized in approach. Each adult learner is different and this is very challenging subject matter.
  4. Use advances in large language models (LLM) and natural language processing (NLP) to communicate these concepts in ways that are familiar to the learner. A convenient chat interface can potentially help both of you bridge the communication gap.
This blog post is an excerpt from a LinkedIn knowledge base contribution from Heather Hershey, founder of and Research Director of Worldwide Digital Commerce at IDC. Ms. Hershey has professional experience in business analytics, global supply chain logistics, international manufacturing and product sourcing, PPC performance analytics, growth marketing, and digital content marketing. Prior to her work with IDC, Ms. Hershey also served as the primary content and SEO strategist for the ongoing redesign of on behalf of the GSA.
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