Wizenoze gains partnership with Pearson

EDUCATE member, Wizenoze, has signed a new partnership with Pearson UK, during the same week as it showcased its AI technology to the King and Queen of The Netherlands during their State Visit to the UK.

Wizenoze, a specialist AI company, was chosen by the Global Entrepreneurs Programme at the Department of International Trade, and by the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce to demonstrate their innovative solution, The Web for Classrooms, to the Netherlands’ Royal visitors, and to the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Unlike most popular search engines, The Web for Classroom was built for education, and developed in response to research that showed that more than six out of ten people could not understand most of what is written on-line.

Wizenoze demonstrated how the use of AI enabled them to create a simple 5-scale ‘reading index’ that curates, by reading level, almost 7 million pages of online content. Wizenoze now provides bespoke APIs for customers to take advantage of this new technology.

The Web for Classrooms is now becoming the go-to search engine on managed school platforms to enrich digital textbooks and support the whitelisting of websites for internet safety companies.

Its partnership with Pearson UK will involve piloting the enrichment of BTEC coursebooks, by embedding The Web for Classrooms, and allowing students to gain better understanding through this dynamic learning environment. The partnership is part of the Project Literacy Lab, the world’s first international project focussing on close the global literacy gap by 2030.

Dr Leila Walker, UK Director of Wizenoze, which was founded in Amsterdam, said: “We see that the education sector is increasingly switching to the digitisation of teaching content, with students becoming more dependent on public online information.

“With The Web for Classrooms we offer access to an internet that has been developed for an educational environment. Students gain valuable learning because they are confronted with relevant information, which is readable and comprehensible.”

Mrs Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice-President, Pearson BTEC and Apprenticeships, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Wizenoze. As technology expands and the internet becomes more accessible, the greater the need to help learners filter reliable content that is personalised to their reading level.

“At Pearson, we aim to widen the range of contexts available to learners so to better their learning outcomes. We believe access to Wizenoze’s solution, The Web for Classrooms, will support this mission. And if the pilot proves successful with our first colleges and BTEC courses then we will broaden access to The Web for Classrooms across all curriculum areas.”

 

Society is “sleepwalking into a human disaster” of uncontrolled and unaccountable AI technology development, the founders of Institute for Ethical AI in Education warn

Governments and the giant tech companies are not paying enough attention to the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, leading to a potential global disaster for humanity,  it has been claimed.

Guests attending the launch of the new Institute for Ethical AI in Education (IEAIED), which took place at Speaker’s House, in London, were told that there is too little understanding of AI and the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society were at risk of being exploited by advances in the technology.

The IEAIED has been founded by Professor Rose Luckin, director of EDUCATE, Sir Anthony Seldon, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, and Priya Lakhani, CEO of CENTURY Tech, a former EDUCATE cohort.

Professor Luckin, who is professor of learner centred design at UCL Institute of Education Knowledge Lab, said that the invention of machines that can learn was “enormously exciting” because learning was the “holy grail of humanity”.

But those developing the technology needed to be held to account. She said the combination of expertise among the founders – who are educators and EdTech developers – meant the Institute was in a unique position to do this because it  understood the implications for learners.

“At UCL Institute of Education, we run the EDUCATE project and we have so far interacted with 15% of the UK EdTech companies and, by the end of next year, we will have interacted with 25% of EdTech start-ups and SMEs, which means we have worked with them to develop a framework they can adopt.”

Professor Luckin warned about “snake oil” merchants in the EdTech market. “They get away with it because we have not educated people into what AI is,” she said. “We must do this and help them understand about the technology, where they should be careful, and where they don’t need to worry.

“I don’t want to scare people away because the dream of everyone being educated is so important. But we have to have this Institute because no one else is paying attention to this puzzle. It is the ‘wild west’ and we are going to call it to account.”

Sir Anthony Seldon said AI was the single most important development in educational technology since the printing press. But it was going to be “either the best thing or the worst thing for humanity”.

Sir Anthony said: “We cannot trust the giant tech companies, and we cannot trust governments around the world. If we are going to get this right we have to depend on the women and men who understand what is happening and have the magnificence of mind to steer this development in the interests of all, and particularly the most vulnerable and least disadvantaged.

“We do not know all the answers yet. But at the moment are sleepwalking into a morass which will become a human disaster on a scale that is even more frightening than global warning. There are AI deniers and the AI apathetic who are not seeing what is fast coming towards us.

“In this country we are not thinking about AI in education nearly enough. It is the Cinderella of the AI applications across human life. It could be the thing that will liberate and have untold benefits in cultural and education experiences, but for the most vulnerable it also has great dangers.”

Among the dangers facing young people, apart from the applications of the technology, was the current system of education with its obsession with exams, which was creating passive learners who are unable to discriminate and learn for themselves.

Priya Lakhani, CEO of CENTURY Tech, said that while there were many committees and institutes devoted to the study of AI all over the world, none was specialising in education.

“We have to ensure we do something meaningful. We have to demand that the industry considers, holistically, the impact on young people,” she said.

The Institute will publish an interim report on its work at the end of 2019, with a full report a year later.

 

 

Professor Rose Luckin co-founds the UK’s first Institute for Ethical AI in Education

A new Institute for Ethical AI in Education (IEAIED) is launched today (October 18) at Speakers’ House, in London, to tackle the potential threats to young people of the rapid growth of new technology.

It is being led by Professor Rose Luckin, director of EDUCATE, Sir Anthony Seldon, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and Priya Lakhani, social impact entrepreneur and CEO of CENTURYTech, a former EDUCATE cohort. The launch event was being hosted by the Rt Hon John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The Institute will seek to ensure the ethical development of AI-led EdTech, and future EDUCATE cohorts using AI as part of their product development will aspire to become exemplars of the principles underpinning the Institute, Professor Luckin, author of Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The future of education for the 21st century, said.

“Ethical, thoughtfully designed and implemented AI could solve many of the problems facing the education system – from tackling the global teacher shortage to providing high quality education for everyone,” she said.

“The solution is at our finger tips, but we must ensure that the ethical vacuum of much of today’s commercial AI development is filled with practices, moral values and ethical principles, so that society in all its diversity will benefit. Ethics must be ‘designed in’ to every aspect of AI for use in education, from the moment of its inception to the point of its first use.

“Our aim is for EDUCATE cohorts developing products with the use of AI to be exemplars in this field, and to align with the principles of the Institute. I am thrilled to be working alongside Priya Lakhani, one of our most successful former cohorts, on this important venture.”

Sir Anthony Seldon, who has also written a book on the impact of AI on education, The Fourth Education Revolution, said: “We are sleepwalking into the biggest danger that young people have faced, eclipsing totally the risk of social media and other forms of digitalisation.

“The Government is not stepping up to the mark, and the tech companies are eating them alive, making shamefully high profits, preaching platitudes while infantilising our young and exposing them to great dangers. AI could be a considerable boon if we get the ethical dimension right but with each passing month we are losing the battle.”

Priya Lakhani said it was “important attention is paid – by government, by industry and by the education system – to the ethical issues that arise from introducing AI into education. We must make sure all learners and educators are protected from the risks that unethical use of AI in education could bring about”.

The IEAIED, based at the University of Buckingham, will see how data and AI within education can be designed and deployed ethically. The aim is to make the UK a world leader in ethical AI for education by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to protect the vulnerable and maximise the benefits of AI.

The institute will look at how ethics can be ‘designed in’ to every aspect of AI in education and training from the inception of an idea for an AI product or service to the adoption of that AI within society.

The Institute will examine the assumptions about human behaviour that underlie current AI development and how social values are manifested in AI design. It will also look at how ethical frameworks can be grounded in responsible innovation and integrated with our assumptions to transform how AI innovators make decisions when designing for educational AI.

The IEAIED will also aim to ensure that AI in education does not prioritise certain aspects of learning at the expense of others, which can distort the process of learning and human development.

The Institute has been set up because the growing volume and diversity of data generated raises ethical concerns about what happens to that data, who owns it, who uses it, for what purposes, and who is accountable for its interpretation and exploitation.

The founders believe that there is currently no consistent or effective governance around AI in education, which has led to it operating like a “wild west” in technology development.

 

 

UK EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT PREPARING YOUNG PEOPLE FOR THE WORKPLACE, PROFESSOR ROSE LUCKIN TELLS INQUIRY

Children and young people are not being adequately prepared for the world of work, because of a lack of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovative teaching in the curriculum, MPs have heard.

Professor Rose Luckin, director of the EDUCATE programme and professor of learner centred design at UCL Knowledge Lab, told the Commons Education Select Committee that inter-disciplinary teaching in schools would address some of the challenges in getting young people ready for a world of work in which machines were threatening their jobs.

She said that while it was impossible to foresee the workplace of the future, there were ways of mitigating the impact of AI which many feared would impact on jobs.

“We need to get industry, academia and education working together, which is what we do on the EDUCATE project, and to tie young people into work experiences with industries in their local area,” Professor Luckin said.

“We cannot predict future of jobs accurately, but we are likely to underestimate entrepreneurship of young people. They will start to develop new businesses that we cannot predict, particularly if we give them the right foundations at school to be entrepreneurial, creative and innovative.

“We need to move to inter-disciplinary academic education because problems are solved by people working together and not just within subject boundaries.” She said skills such as good social interaction and knowledge were crucial, but people needed to   question where knowledge came from and the evidence around it, especially in this time of fake news.

This also meant developing people’s meta-cognitive and self-regulation skills.  “We need to use AI and human intelligence together to provide a rich social interaction that prepares young people for the world of work, because we are not doing that at the moment.”

Professor Luckin, who was questioned by MPs together with Brian Holliday, Managing Director at Siemens Digital Factory, and Joysy John, Director of Education at Nesta, said she did not believe the role of teachers was under threat from machine learning, but the extent to which jobs were at risk “depends how we use AI to match with our human intelligence” and this was something teachers needed to learn.

“AI can help teachers to develop scientific knowledge,” she said. “One of the core skills they will need is understanding of data and evidence as that is what machine-learning and AI feeds on. Educators need to know how to use that data, analysis and evidence to provide those wonderful human interactions to make sure children and adults get the best education.”

Professor Luckin suggested that one way to protect jobs in the future would be to examine the expertise, talents and skill sets of individuals, to find out what other contribution they could make to the workplace other than the job they were employed to do.

She mentioned Freeformers, an EDUCATE cohort, which works with companies to identify individual skills and talents of employees. This helped people to be more positive about their roles, gave a value to what they do and a more positive mindset, she said.

EDUCATE Director, Professor Rose Luckin, discusses AI and effects on learning and testing, in World Economic Forum article

Professor Rose Luckin discusses how AI can help redefine how pupils learn, and what intelligences they will need to succeed and thrive in the workplace of the future, in this article on the website of the World Economic Forum, the international organisation for public-private cooperation.

She explains how educators, and society in general, must radically redefine intelligence, and how AI can be used to help teachers develop and measure human intelligence in its various forms, so that students are better prepared for the workplace of the future – a workplace that will require them to be more adaptable and willing to learn throughout their lives.

Professor Luckin believes that we currently test what can be easily measured, but AI could be used to assess aptitude and ability in other important skills beyond intelligence, such as collaboration, persistence, confidence and motivation.

AI would also enable students to be assessed as they learn – rather than with one-time, end-of-course assessments – using technology and hand-held devices. This would provide teachers with a more accurate picture of students’ strengths and weaknesses, so that learning can be adapted readily to meet their needs.

Professor Luckin argues that AI is already a viable option to replace some tests, and that changing what we measure would alter what we value in our education systems.

“If we can accept that we need to change the assessment system,” she says, “then it opens the door to that radical rethink about what the education system is for.”

Professor Rose Luckin, EDUCATE Director, welcomes Education Secretary, Damian Hinds’ plans for an ‘EdTech revolution’

Professor Rose Luckin, the director of EDUCATE, has welcomed an announcement today by Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, calling for an ‘EdTech revolution’ in UK schools.

The Secretary of State set out his vision for the use of technology in education and called on the sector to meet five key challenges that would improve teaching and learning, and ease teacher workload.

Professor Luckin, who is professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab, said: “It is great to see Mr Hinds recognising the value of technology in education.

“We know that well-designed and effectively-deployed technology has a positive impact on teaching and learning. We now need the EdTech sector to work with educators and researchers to develop the evidence-informed technology and practice to transform our education system to benefit all learners.”

Outling his vision to the World Education Forum, Mr Hinds said that some schools had already embraced EdTech, bringing education to life with the use of robots and virtual reality, while giving teachers more time to spend with pupils rather than on administrative tasks.

However, he said, only a minority was engaged with technology and he called on industry – both EdTech developers in the UK and the global giants such as Microsoft and Apple – to help tackle five key issues: cutting teacher workload, developing innovative teaching methods, training teachers, making assessment more effective, and promoting lifelong learning.

Mr Hinds said: “Schools, colleges and universities have the power to choose the tech tools which are best for them and their budgets. But they cannot do this alone. It’s only by forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the education sector that there will be sustainable, focused solutions which will ultimately support and inspire the learners of today and tomorrow.”

He urged EdTech developers to get more involved in schools and to work on providing the evidence of the impact they have in the classroom.
The Department for Education will be working with, amongst others, the British Educational Suppliers Association, one of EDUCATE’s partners, to promote EdTech in schools, colleges and universities.

Professor Luckin added: “Since its launch last year, the EDUCATE programme has worked more than 100 entrepreneurs, businesses and start-ups to help bring about exactly the revolution of which the Secretary of State speaks.
“We look forward to sharing our expertise and experience to help make this vision a reality for millions of children and students.”

More information about Damian Hinds’ speech can be found here, and an article written by the Secretary of State is here.