Last November, I bought HBR’s The Year in Tech, 2023 to catch up on the latest and most innovative technologies disrupting markets and businesses. By the end of 2022, the book was already obsolete and outdated! OpenAI’s ChatGPT was the trend buster of 2023 and it changed how we view the coming decade.


By 2035, AI will be everywhere and it will revolutionize the way we live, work, play, and learn. In this article, I focus on how AI will change the way we learn, the impending digital divide in education, and the need to address the AI skills crisis, particularly at the local government level, as we approach the era of AI everywhere.

A Paradigm Shift in Education & Learning

Once upon a time, only the elite were entitled to an education. Then the industrial revolution happened, creating jobs that never existed before, resulting in a rise in demand for a literate workforce also known as “factory workers”. Further, improvements in technology led to the prospect of universal access to education.

The advent of computers and the internet was a game-changer. It led to a paradigm shift in the education system by shifting the focus away from traditional methods of teaching, where the teacher was the main source of knowledge and information. Integration of technology in education shifted the focus to personalized, user-centered approaches to individual learning catering to diverse learning styles. The era of AI everywhere will require a further shift in our focus from personalized learning to curiosity, imagination, self-discovery, and creativity.

“Learning is the new skill. Imagination, creation, and asking new questions are at its core.” 

Sugata Mitra


The Impending AI-driven Digital Divide in Education

Michael Trucano’s commentary on AI and the next digital divide in education shines a light on the evolution of the digital divide in education. The age of the Internet created the second digital divide, and AI everywhere will lead us to the third digital divide.


The digital divide in education will widen skills gaps which will worsen social and economic inequities. It is important to understand that AI will not only destroy jobs, but it will also create new ones that require people with AI skills. Those who have access to people with AI skills will derive the most benefit from AI advancements.

Challenge for Local Governments

Researchers at the Brooking Institute found that AI jobs are more geographically concentrated than any other digital technologies. Most AI jobs and research remain concentrated in superstar cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. The geographic concentration of AI activities will further make it challenging for local governments who already struggle with attracting and retaining IT and cybersecurity professionals.

Successful AI adoption in government requires proactive and strategic measures to address the AI skills gap. Here are some strategies that  local governments can use to bridge the AI skills gap:

Without sufficient knowledge of AI among government officials and proactive investment in re-skilling and AI talent, the benefits of AI cannot be equitably distributed throughout society.