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eSports and AI – learning to ask the right questions

Acer Country Manager Glenn du Toit recently spoke at the Curro eSports Indaba, emphasising the importance of investing in education, specifically in developing complex problem-solving skills among children. He noted that while problem-solving was a critical skill for the previous generation, it has declined among today's learners.

‘I don't know about you, but when I was a child growing up, we learned how to solve problems. Now we talk about parents who are solving problems with children. As that has become more and more prevalent in the world today, we're actually finding that children's abilities to solve problems are declining,’ he explained, before discussing the value of eSports education, stating that it not only provides learners with problem-solving skills, but also technical, soft, emotional, and cognitive skills, including communication, emotional regulation, interpersonal skills, leadership, and goal-setting and improved memory, among others.

Glenn also delved into artificial intelligence, tracing its history from the 1960s when it was first created but lacked the processing power to perform complex tasks. However, the rise of the internet and cloud computing has enabled computers to process vast amounts of data and provide solutions to complex problems.

‘What are we going to do with ChatGPT? What's it going to do? Is it going to replace the artist? It's a very interesting conversation on its own as to what artificial intelligence is doing in and around that. But that's where we are right now in terms of the adoption of generative AI. Generative AI is predictable. It's not a search engine. It's taking a cluster of information and it's giving you the answer that you want. So now, hang on a second, if it's giving me the answer I want, does it mean it's the right answer? Well, no. And this is where we've got to understand where technology is fitting into our hands and into our lives. So, understanding that generative technology has a place to play because it's not going anywhere. What we need to do is teach our children and teach ourselves the one fundamental principle of technology that we all seem to forget. And that is we need to go back to learning how to ask the right questions. Because if you don't know how to ask the right questions, you're not going to get the right answer,’ he enthused confidently.

Glenn further stressed the importance of navigating AI by teaching children how to work better with computers. He cited examples of learners who are top performers in school but struggle with basic computer skills such as dragging and dropping an Excel document. As the world increasingly embraces AI, Glenn urged parents, teachers, and learners to develop authentic intelligence (people and AI working together), which produces a more potent force.

The world is undergoing a digital revolution, and AI is playing a significant role in shaping the future. It's essential to prepare learners for this reality by investing in their education and developing their complex problem-solving skills. With eSports, learners can develop critical technical, soft, emotional, and cognitive skills that are increasingly in demand in the workforce. However, as AI continues to evolve, it's crucial to teach learners how to ask the right questions and navigate the technology skilfully.

The bottom line is that a balance between authentic intelligence and AI will be key to success in the digital era.