AI and Education
Guidance for policy-makers
UNESCO (June, 2021) - This publication offers guidance to policy-makers in understanding artificial intelligence and responding to the challenges and opportunities in education presented by AI. Specifically, it introduces the essentials of AI such as its definition, techniques, technologies, capacities and limitations. It also delineates the emerging practices and benefit-risk assessment on leveraging AI to enhance education and learning, and to ensure inclusion and equity, as well as the reciprocal role of education in preparing humans to live and work with AI.
UNESCO ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN EDUCATION
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to address some of the biggest challenges in education today, innovate teaching and learning practices, and ultimately accelerate the progress towards SDG 4. However, these rapid technological developments inevitably bring multiple risks and challenges, which have so far outpaced policy debates and regulatory frameworks. UNESCO is committed to supporting Member States to harness the potential of AI technologies for achieving the Education 2030 Agenda, while ensuring that the application of AI in educational contexts is guided by the core principles of inclusion and equity.
UNESCO’s mandate calls inherently for a human-centred approach to AI. It aims to shift the conversation to include AI’s role in addressing current inequalities regarding access to knowledge, research and the diversity of cultural expressions and to ensure AI does not widen the technological divides within and between countries. The promise of “AI for all” must be that everyone can take advantage of the technological revolution under way and access its fruits, notably in terms of innovation and knowledge.
Furthermore, UNESCO has developed within the framework of the Beijing Consensus a publication aimed at fostering the readiness of education policy-makers in artificial intelligence. This publication, Artificial Intelligence and Education: Guidance for Policy-makers, will be of interest to practitioners and professionals in the policy-making and education communities. It aims to generate a shared understanding of the opportunities and challenges that AI offers for education, as well as its implications for the core competencies needed in the AI era.
Through its projects, UNESCO affirms that the deployment of AI technologies in education should be purposed to enhance human capacities and to protect human rights for effective human-machine collaboration in life, learning and work, and for sustainable development. Together with partners, international organizations, and the key values that UNESCO holds as pillars of their mandate, UNESCO hopes to strengthen their leading role in AI in education, as a global laboratory of ideas, standard setter, policy advisor and capacity builder.
If you are interested in leveraging emerging technologies like AI to bolster the education sector, we look forward to partnering with you through financial, in-kind or technical advice contributions.
“We need to renew this commitment as we move towards an era in which artificial intelligence – a convergence of emerging technologies – is transforming every aspect of our lives (…),” said Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education held in Beijing in May 2019. “We need to steer this revolution in the right direction, to improve livelihoods, to reduce inequalities and promote a fair and inclusive globalization.’’
More information on the first ever document to offer guidance and recommendations on how best Member States can respond to the opportunities and challenges brought by AI for accelerating the progress towards SDG 4 can be found on UNESCO's website here.
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