The Digital Transformation of Education: A Hyper-Disruptive Era through Blockchain and Generative AI

Monday, December 04, 2023 | 10:00 am (CET) | Room: B01.0.203 | Lakeside Park

Mag. Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer, MA, MBA | Universität für Weiterbildung Krems

Abstract: In his ignite talk „The Digital Transformation of Education: A Hyper-Disruptive Era through Blockchain and Generative AI,“ Dr. Alexander Pfeiffer delves into the intricate challenges and potential benefits associated with integrating blockchain technologies and generative AI into the educational landscape. He scrutinizes consensus algorithms and explores sustainable methods of operating blockchain systems, while also examining how smart contracts and transactions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the educational sector. Alexander underscores the importance of establishing secure digital identities and ensuring robust data protection, while simultaneously casting a critical eye on potential risks and vulnerabilities. The topic of digital identities, facilitated through tokenization, forms a bridge between storing data using blockchain-based databases and the increasingly urgent need for content verification of AI-generated material.

Alexander explores the profound alterations occurring in teaching methodologies, assignment creation, and evaluation processes, shedding light on the hyper-disruptive impact these changes are having on both research and practical applications in education. The production of textual content by educators and students is analyzed with a focus on ensuring clear traceability of content sources and editors, and its proper citation, a critical aspect in the responsible use of AI. In addition to generative text and graphics, AI plays a crucial role in future learning and assignment practices, particularly through adaptive game-based learning and assessment. Alexander will provide a brief glimpse into his game „Gallery-Defender,“ a prototype demonstrating how AI and blockchain can be effectively implemented in serious gaming scenarios.

Furthermore, he emphasizes the imperative for ongoing education and professional development for educational personnel, advocating for a proactive stance in addressing the (legal) challenges associated with AI-generated images and text. This ignite talk aims to provide a balanced and critically reflective perspective on hyper-disruptive technologies, setting the stage for further discourse and exploration in the subsequent discussion.

AI Disclaimer: This text has been spell- and grammar checked using Chat GPT 4.0, Version Sept. 25.

Bio: Alexander Pfeiffer, a recipient of the Max Kade Fellowship, focused on the impact of blockchain technologies on game-based education at MIT’s Education Arcade. He has returned to Austria, where he leads the Emerging Technologies Experiences Lab at the University for Continuing Education Krems. He co-founded the tech start-ups Picapipe GmbH (Winner of the Austrian Blockchain Award) and B&P Emerging Technologies Consultancy Lab.

Dr. Pfeiffer holds a doctorate and a degree in social and economic sciences from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, a Master of Arts from the University of Krems, and an Executive MBA from Alaska Pacific University. He is eager to soon defend his doctoral thesis on smart contracts in education at the AI Department of the University of Malta.

PICTURE: Used Applications: Midjourney V5, Face Swapper and Adobe Photoshop Beta

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