Generative artificial intelligence in education


In response to the rapid development of powerful generative artificial intelligence, UNESCO has organized, for the first time, the Global Conference of Education Ministers on this topic at the end of May 2023. This is in order to discuss the opportunities that the application of artificial intelligence (AI) provides to the educational system now and in the long term.

According to reports, more than 40 ministers took part in the online discussion today and shared methods and policy plans on how best to integrate AI tools into education.

UNESCO also presents a roadmap for the joint development of generative AI and education, including multi-stakeholder dialogue.

“Generative AI opens up new horizons and new challenges for education,” said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO. “But we must act urgently to ensure that new AI technologies are integrated into the conditions we set. As stated in the recommendation on AI ethics adopted by countries Members, it is our responsibility to prioritize safety, inclusion, diversity, transparency and quality. »

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common interest

During the discussions, a number of common interests “emerged”. Particularly in terms of figuring out how to adapt the education system to the rapidly emerging significant impact of generative AI. But also how to integrate generative AI into curricula, teaching methods, and exams. And again how to mitigate the impact of the flaws inherent in these technologies, such as producing obvious errors and generating biased information.

The discussions among ministers also sent the message that governments around the world are developing appropriate policy responses in this rapidly changing landscape. It aims to deepen or improve national strategies on artificial intelligence, data protection and other regulatory frameworks.

Difficulty responding to educational institutions in a timely manner

A new UNESCO global survey of more than 450 schools and universities finds that less than 10% have institutional policies and/or formal guidelines around the use of generative AI applications. The findings illustrate the challenges educational institutions face in responding in a timely manner when such powerful AI applications capable of creating written and visual creations suddenly appear.

The survey also highlights the important role teachers play as facilitators of learning in this new era. But they need guidance and training to meet these challenges.

UNESCO promotes orientation

UNESCO said it will continue to lead the global dialogue between policy makers, education technology partners, academia and civil society. The organization is also developing policy guidelines on the use of generative AI in education and research, as well as an AI literacy framework for students and teachers in schools.

These guidance documents will be released during this year’s Digital Learning Week. An event to be held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 4 to 7 September.

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