TMW Center Newsletter August 2023

August 11, 2023

How AI Matters to Babies’ Brains

Like researchers across all disciplines, those of us at the TMW Center are thinking deeply about the implications of artificial superintelligence for our field. In today’s Wall Street Journal, TMW Center Co-Director Dana Suskind shares some of that thinking. As a cochlear implant surgeon, Dana is a firm believer in the power of technology to bolster the human experience—and she points to the potentially transformational ways in which responsive artificial intelligence could increase the frequency and consistency of children’s brain-building experiences.

However, Dana also contends that artificial superintelligence poses a risk that our society has not yet recognized.

Because of the way the human brain develops, she explains, AI applications in early childhood have the potential to alter its foundational wiring: the very essence of what makes us, us. “We cannot put the proverbial genie back in its bottle—nor should we,” writes Dana. But she contends that we can and must engage developers, researchers, policymakers, and parents to determine the path forward, to determine how to capitalize on the promise of generative AI to serve overburdened parents and optimize the magical period of human development, without leaving ourselves vulnerable to truly alarming unintended consequences.

Read the full essay in The Wall Street Journal.

AI at the TMW Center

As we begin to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning in our own work, we do so with a steadfast commitment to social good and a pledge to approach these technologies with radical intentionality. We believe that applying data and artificial intelligence to the early childhood space can transform the way society meets the developmental needs of all children. We also believe that humanity and scientific discovery must guide every step of our journey into this new frontier. We will not be afraid to learn or unlearn surprising truths as we strive to reimagine early childhood and point society toward its full promise.

You can learn more about the AI-driven measurement tools in development at the TMW Center at our website.

Welcoming Dr. Pamela Truelove-Walker

We could not be more thrilled to welcome Dr. Pamela Truelove-Walker to the TMW Center! Her unrivaled experience makes Pamela the perfect person to lead the development & implementation of our new suite of tools for ECE practitioners.

Prior to joining our team, Pamela spent six years working with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education. As Senior Director of Early Learning and Early Education, she provided state level leadership and oversight for systems alignment of all early childhood initiatives. Before the ADECE, Pamela spent almost 20 years administering and providing professional development support for university-based lab schools, Head Start, Early Head Start, faith-based preschool, and state-funded pre-k. Additionally, she has served as adjunct faculty for a major university, and was named a top-3, national finalist for Director of the Year by the Association for Early Learning Leaders.

Of her new role, Pamela says: “I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside others in support of the availability and accessibility of high-quality early care and education services for children and families.”