KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee has partnered with the AI Education Project in a call to action for advanced AI literacy. 

The initiative is focused on connecting K-12 students with education innovations that align with 21st-century workforce needs, especially students who are likely to be left out of opportunities to benefit from AI systems. 

“A lot of people are very concerned about how AI is going to impact their jobs in the future and a lot of people wonder if AI is going to replace them, but I think in actuality what will happen is that people with AI skills are more likely to replace you than the AI itself,” said Lynne Parker, assistant vice chancellor and director of the AI Tennessee Initiative. 

Parker says partnering with aiEDU leverages its resources to teach the teachers. They want to empower educators to learn AI and be confident in taking the curriculum back to the classroom.

Parker says AI is impacting every sector of the economy and our day-to-day lives and while she does not expect everyone to be an AI expert, she believes it is important for students to have access to that knowledge. 

“Our goal is to expose students to these new tools to help them understand how to use them appropriately. Maybe to inspire some of them to become future experts in the area but the goal is not to turn everybody into a computer scientist. The goal is to help people figure out how to use these tools in a way that helps them thrive in their workplace and in their lives,” said Parker. 

The AI Tennessee Initiative plans to begin teacher outreach in the summer and provide teacher training during their district professional learning days in the fall. 

The goal is to pilot AI courses in Title I schools across the state by Spring of 2024.