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The Future of AI in Education

The second of three papers on AI in Education by Dr Carmel Kent, this Byte-Size explores AI's role in teaching in learning.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us – yet the media overwhelms us with a flood of contradictory narratives. Is AI a magic algorithm or a dangerous enemy? Is it causing a revolution or a disruption? Will it destroy, take over and suppress us – or will it augment, support and even free us? How do machines gain ‘intelligence’? And most importantly, what will dictate the impact of AI on us humans? AI feels like a moving target. If there is one definitive fact about AI, it’s that it will require us to learn throughout our lives. 


The aim of this report is to summarise evidence about AI that is pertinent to education. Why education? Because to understand AI, we first need to understand human intelligence and human learning. We need to be able to identify the difference between AI and Human Intelligence (HI) if we are to reap the potential of AI for society. In addition, since our students and children will experience the greatest impact of AI – both from an employment perspective, but also from cultural and sociological perspectives – we need to evaluate how AI impacts education. 


This is an overview of the main concepts that make up the image of AI today and explores the promise of AI in education. To do this, we must also discuss the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, designers, developers and policymakers in the field of AI in education. This will be the main aim of a future report. But let’s begin by getting to know the enemy. Or, perhaps more appropriately, let’s get acquainted with our new colleague. 

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Augmentation, personalisation, AI, AI in education, machine learning, AI-enhanced education, AIED, assessment

About the Author: Dr Carmel Kent

Carmel is the head of data science at EDUCATE and a senior research fellow at UCL. She is a computational social scientist, with a research focus on Artificial Intelligence for education and learning analytics.

Her other areas of interest focus on online learning communities, interactivity in online discussions and collaborative learning technologies.  She has 20 years of industry and academic experience, having worked as a software engineer, data scientist, entrepreneur, teacher and researcher, and for IBM research, EdTech and healthcare providers’ companies and a number of startups.

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