Jessica Stansbury: The ‘Search Revolution’ Will Continue, And AI Has A Role To Play

In a guest post in Baltimore, Dr. Jessica Stansbury, director of teaching and learning excellence at The University of Baltimore’s Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Technology, writes about the evolution of the search function in computing—from the relatively linear process available in the first search engines, through the co-mingling of marketing, social media and SEO within that process, and into today’s “learning by doing” experience widely accessible through YouTube tutorial videos.

Stansbury considers her own journey of understanding how learning takes place, whether it’s hunting for a book in a library card catalog or conversing with a chatbot made through Artificial Intelligence, and suggests that this is a process without end. Taken altogether, the evolution of search is a deeply impactful part of education in every phase of life.

“Each step forward reshapes not just how we gain knowledge, but what it means to know, to teach and to learn,” she writes. “As we navigate tumultuous times, with students and activists demanding change across campuses and associated industries, our search for knowledge becomes a search for insight, meaning and justice. The ‘search revolution’ is about understanding more deeply, learning collaboratively and teaching more effectively in a complex information landscape.”

If AI is to be an integral part of search, Stansbury says, it must be supportive of the individual’s desire to gain knowledge and insight. Ideally, AI could democratize learning, and encourage the learner to keep going in pursuit of richer, more significant insights.

“Through our unease with new technologies, we might find comfort in the truths they uncover,” she says. “Our shared dream of understanding can guide us toward progress as we continue to seek truths, both old and new.”

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