Professor Rose Luckin discusses the future of Artificial Intelligence at Bett MEA in Abu Dhabi, UAE

EDUCATE director, Professor Rose Luckin has take part in a discussion and question and answer session on Artificial Intelligence, at the BETT MEA in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Professor Luckin was joined by Dr Willian Swartout, Research Professor in Computer Science, and Chief Technology Officer at USC Institute of Creative Technologies, to talk about the ethical human issues around the development of AI technologies.

The discussion centred around the significance of machine learning advances for educators who, for the first time, have access to machines that can store, process and learn from large amounts of information.

Professor Luckin said: “These machines can access specific pieces of information very quickly, accurately and without getting tired or ill.  As humans, we therefore need to use our intelligence to work out how we develop education systems and ensure that humans stay smarter than the computer systems they build.

“This means that we need a new approach to education and an intelligence-based curriculum that ensures that the richness of human intelligence beyond the learning of academic information is developed to a much greater level of sophistication.”

The debate was opened to the floor, with audience members asking questions about the ethics surrounding technology use, specifically in the wake of the Facebook Cambridge analytical revelations, and whether large technology companies can be trusted.

Prof Luckin said: “We need ethical regulatory frameworks to ensure that all technology companies behave in a way that people can trust. We need to educate people about data and about artificial intelligence in a way that means that they understand when they are consenting to a company using their data that they understand what this really means.”

Participants at the debate were also concerned about their students and how they can be taught to be discerning about real and fake news.

“When it comes to fake news we need to ensure that the knowledge-based elements of any curriculum must be one that deals with what knowledge is, where it comes from, how it is constructed, what evidence is and why evidence is important when making decisions about whether we believe something or not,” Professor Luckin said. “We need people to develop far more sophisticated personal epistemologies if they are to know truth from the lies.”

The discussion included the knowledge-based curriculum is and how a more intelligence-based approach can be adopted by educators.

“We have now built Machine Learning systems that can learn the knowledge-based curriculum faster and more accurately than any human, so we now need to use our human intelligence to develop assessment and regulatory systems that will support a transformation to an intelligence-based curriculum,” Prof Luckin added. “This will need to address the complexity of the interwoven elements of human intelligence, including those that cannot be implemented by artificial intelligence, such as emotional and social intelligence.”

She said that it was important that older people were not left out of the AI revolution. “Populations who are educated and understand how to work effectively and live effectively with artificial intelligence will be much more productive, as well as much more satisfied and much safer,” Prof Luckin said.

“It’s important to remember that humans are in charge and the decisions that we make now about how artificial intelligence is used within society will drive the extent to which AI is used and developed in an ethical manner for the benefit of all of society.”

*Bett MEA is an annual cutting-edge conference of leading decision-makers and buyers in EdTech from the Middle-East and beyond. The theme of this year’s event, which takes place on April 23-24, is Educating for Success in the 4th Industrial Revolution.