Education: Commission launches expert group to develop ethical guidelines on artificial intelligence and data for educators

Today, the Commission is holding the first meeting of the expert group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data in education and training. The expert group is part of the Digital Education Action Plan (2021-2027), which will further promote understanding of the use of emerging technologies and raise awareness about the opportunities and risks of using AI and data in education and training. The 25 experts, selected via an open call, are to prepare ethical guidelines on AI and data targeting specifically the education and training sector. Acknowledging the potential and risks of AI technologies and data, the group will tackle challenges related to non-discrimination as well as ethical, security, and privacy concerns. It will also address the pressing need for educators and students to have a basic understanding of AI and data usage to engage positively, critically, and ethically with this technology. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Artificial intelligence and learning analytics are game-changing technologies. They are revolutionising the way students learn. At the same time, many educators, parents, and students are understandably worried about who collects, controls, and interprets the data generated about them. This is where our new expert group comes in: their work will be instrumental to prepare practical ethical guidelines for educators, addressing for example biases in decision-making. Today is an important step towards implementing our Digital Education Action Plan – together we will ensure that AI meets real educational needs and is used safely and ethically by learners and educators across Europe.” Today’s meeting is the first of four to take place over the next 12 months. The guidelines, to be presented in September 2022, will be accompanied by a training programme for researchers and students on the ethical aspects of AI, and include a target of 45% of female participation in activities. The group will also make sure that the guidelines take into account the Commission’s April 2021 proposal for AI legal framework and new Coordinated Plan with Member States. Information about the launch and the work programme of the expert group is available online, further information on AI and education is available here.