We've officially entered the AI era. Along with hype and hyperbole comes a wave of fear and uncertainty concerning the future of computer science. Videos of AI writing code with simple inputs and stories of engineers replaced by AI bots fueled a dramatic yet ultimately flawed narrative. The truth is, AI isn’t replacing coding; it’s accelerating it!
More than Just Code
Before we address the AI elephant in the room, it’s important to note that learning to code and studying computer science are not just linear means to an end. As noted in SIGCSE '20: Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, computer science education provides the immediate benefits of boosting problem-solving competencies, sharpening mathematical abilities, and encourages the logical thinking necessary for success across many other core school subjects. The learning extends far beyond the code, enhancing students' capability to solve complex problems, adapt to different situations, and foster a growth mindset. Even in the brand-new world of AI, having coding literacy will allow you to use AI more effectively as a coding companion. Most of what AI produces is not perfect. It will take an experienced programmer to know how to turn it into something that works well.
AI Will Drive Growth in STEM Jobs
For those interested in pursuing careers in coding and computer science, no worries; AI is not going to replace you. In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Institute Report [Generative AI and the future of work in America], by 2030, STEM jobs will see the second highest labor demand growth at +23%, just behind healthcare. As our economy continues to digitize, employers in all sectors will need highly skilled tech professionals to support their digital transformation efforts. AI will not eliminate jobs. Instead, it will enable professionals to work more efficiently. With the introduction of generative AI, we could see 30% of work hours automated by 2030. STEM professionals will be well-positioned to understand and adopt the latest AI technologies as they continue to evolve, making those employees even more effective and valuable.
How We Use AI
At CodeCombat, we’ve adopted AI as a tool to accelerate the learning process as students develop their Computer Science skills. Our AI chatbot in CodeCombat can address student inquiries immediately, providing important real-time feedback. CodeCombat Worlds on the Roblox platform includes a generative AI feature allowing simple text-to-code outputs, empowering every player to become a creator. And CodeCombat AI HackStack is the first generative AI companion tool specifically crafted for those new to AI - which, let's face it, is practically everyone. HackStack allows learners of any age to explore AI in a safe and protected environment while they also learn about AI ethics and constraints.
How We Integrate AI Safely
With the great power of AI comes great responsibility. Our AI technology adheres to safety-first principles, providing confidence to both students and educators. We do not allow our backend LLM providers to train your chats and have established protective measures against inappropriate content. These measures include filtering harmful language, maintaining focus on relevant subjects, safeguarding personal information, and educating students about potential AI pitfalls. Moreover, we log AI chat activity for teacher monitoring and uphold stringent data privacy and security protocols.
Like many tech breakthroughs before, AI has been met with much apprehension, but those who embrace it will have the opportunity and skills to thrive. Computer science and coding skills are key to maximizing what AI can do. Contact our team today to learn more about how our tools can help your students get the most out of AI.