Roundtable discusses the future of AI in education

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden and education secretary Gillian Keegan yesterday (17 April) hosted a roundtable to harness the benefits of technologies like AI could have for the education sector.

Teachers, education professionals and tech companies came together to discuss how such technologies can be used to boost education outcomes for children in the UK.

Keegan said: “Artificial intelligence is already changing the way we work and learn, but we need to understand its risks and challenges.

“Bringing together tech experts in the field with teachers and education leaders is crucial if we are to take advantage of this emerging technology, and I look forward to hearing from those on the ground about how we can continue to lead the way in our approach to AI in education."

Roundtable attendees included leaders from across the education and tech sector, such as Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn, Phillip Hedger who is the CEO of LEO Academy Trust, and Microsoft'a UK Schools Education Lead Jen King.

Recognising that innovators in education are already using generative AI, the roundtable shared learnings and best practice in the sector.

Research conducted by the Department for Education (DfE) over the last year has shown that educational professionals are already embracing the opportunities offered by this emerging technology, such as reducing the amount of time teachers spent on administrative jobs to allow them to spend more time delivering valuable lessons to students.

This technology also has the power to tailor education programmes to pupils and rapidly drive up attainment by making learning more individualised and accessible and opening up new opportunities.

Attendees also considered the challenges of AI, the need for robust evidence, and the importance of safe usage.

This includes the need to set standards, ensure essential technology infrastructure is in place, and support education institutions to equip themselves to mitigate the risks of implementing new technologies.

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