Do you wear a VR headset to your maths class? Are you writing code to programme robots? These are some of the innovative technologies that are reaching some classrooms and causing the rethinking of education.
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are changing our lives. They enhance products and services, which can offer new ways to work, deliver healthcare, manage smart city infrastructure and more. But what about education?
During the recent ITU AI for Good event, the education stream addressed many issues, including the need to review and improve education systems globally, how to best leverage AI technologies and the challenges faced.
There was a general consensus that education must be viewed as lifelong. It will be as important to prepare young people for the workplace, as it will to keep people already in the workplace trained and up to date with new software applications which use AI technologies.
Ethics and inclusivity in the classroom
Founder and CEO of Iridescent, Tara Chklovski, talked about how AI education can help young people develop the skills required to succeed down the track in lifelong learning, but getting started is often the first hurdle.
Many communities do not have access to AI technologies, so this will be a challenge for some countries. Additionally, teachers and educators will also need to be trained in order to be able to best use AI resources.
Valtencir Mendes, Project Manager of the Unit for ICT in Education at UNESCO, highlighted the need to ensure access and inclusivity of education to all. He also noted the importance of considering the ethics, transparency and security of digital education programmes and software.
Advancing AI in education
There are different ways to address these issues. For example Stefania Druga of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) talked about the online learning platform, www.Cognimates.Me, developed by the MIT Media Lab, which is an inclusive AI literacy platform for children worldwide. It is a free computer programming language, which encourages fun activities for AI learning, for instance programming robots and can be used by adults without AI training.
International standards for AI being developed by IEC and ISO will address ethical, societal concerns and trustworthiness aspects of the technology. Read about latest developments.
Additionally, IEC and ISO are developing international standards for digital learning which will consider data privacy and security. Read more in an interview with expert Erlend Overby, who leads the standardization work in the area of IT for learning, education and training.