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Some concerns of AI-Integrated Education

August 12, 2023
Written by 
Brian Mak
3 min read
This is the fifth part of our study, Artificial Intelligence in Education: Can AI bring the full potential of personalized learning to education?

So far, we have discussed:

  • the current parenting and educational landscape
  • how AI-powered learning can be adaptive and progressive in a classroom setting
  • the current understanding of screen time.

As we usher in the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, we should take a closer and more detailed look at some of the concerns.

AI and its Consumers, Students

The first significant worry lies in the potential overemphasis on technological advancements–bells and whistles–rather than the core educational objectives during the programming stages of AI development. That is, we need to be careful to not get carried away with the tech and power of AI, and stay hyper focused on the core objective of AI in education - optimizing for learning outcomes. This could result in systems that are proficient in conveying knowledge, yet deficient in sparking crucial elements like motivation or knowledge mastery. Furthermore, the specter of full automation raises questions about the dehumanizing effects on education. As the student progresses in the education system, this could stunt their ability to translate their learned skills into applicable real-world scenarios. Finally, the pervasive issue of bias embedded in AI models, inheriting, and reinforcing historical biases, poses a substantial risk to fair educational outcomes, as well as disproportionately affecting certain minorities.

This could result in systems that are proficient in conveying knowledge, yet deficient in sparking crucial elements like motivation or actual knowledge mastery.
AI and Education Facilitators

In tandem, there is a growing concern about a potential skills gap among teachers, as data-driven education, not currently part of teacher training, becomes an integral aspect of AI integration. The prospect of educators needing to evolve into data scientists may redefine the traditional teaching profile. At the same time, we may end up in a situation where educators end up becoming dependent on AI systems that they don't fully understand. How many of us actually understand intimately how GPTs and LLMs work? Are educators expected to become experts in data science, statistics, AI, in addition to caretakers, social workers, DIY craft makers? Maybe we should add rocket scientist to the job description.

The reality is that many AI systems have challenges around transparency, which leads to questions around accountability and responsibility. The rapid implementation of AI without meeting necessary prerequisites is a tangible concern, as unmet expectations could lead to disillusionment with AI in education, potentially hindering broader digital innovations in the domain.

The reality is that many AI systems have challenges around transparency, which leads to questions around accountability and responsibility.
AI and Big Tech

Finally, a noteworthy worry revolves around a potential shift in power dynamics, as entities like educational resource publishers or tech giants could consolidate influence, potentially altering local control over educational goals.

In conclusion, addressing these concerns objectively is paramount to fostering a nuanced understanding of the challenges accompanying the integration of AI in education. Striking a balance between technological advancements and fundamental educational objectives is critical for cultivating a transformative and responsible presence of AI in the educational landscape. The journey into AI-integrated education requires a meticulous navigation of potential pitfalls to ensure a harmonious coexistence of technology and pedagogy. 🤖📚 #AIinEducation #NavigatingConcerns

Link to the original paper (source)