Jan 05, 2021 2021-01-05
Dozens of “opportunities” to use artificial intelligence (AI) to support education exist, according to “AI and the Future of Learning,” a report from the Center for Integrative Research in Computing and Learning Sciences. The report, culled from the work of 22 researchers and experts, finds that AI could provide “job aids” for teachers and advance “social learning” and assessment. The experts considered what education leaders will need to know about AI in support of student learning in order to have a stronger voice in the future of learning, to plan for the future, and to make informed decisions. The report introduces three layers that can frame the meaning of AI for educators: (1) AI can be seen as “computational intelligence,” and capability can be brought to bear on educational challenges as an additional resource to an educator’s abilities and strengths. (2) AI brings specific, exciting new capabilities to computing, including sensing, recognizing patterns, representing knowledge, making and acting on plans, and supporting naturalistic interactions with people. These specific capabilities can be engineered into solutions to support learners with varied strengths and needs, such as allowing students to use handwriting, gestures, or speech as input in addition to more traditional keyboard and pointer input. (3) AI can be used as a toolkit to enable educators to imagine, study, and discuss futures for learning that do not exist today. The report also enumerates important strengths and weaknesses of AI, as well as the respective opportunities and barriers to applying AI to learning.