UNESCO has just published the Beijing Consensus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education, the first ever document to offer guidance and recommendations on how best to harness the potential of AI technologies for achieving objectives set out in the Education 2030 Agenda.
The consensus was adopted during the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education, which was held in Beijing from May 16 to 18, 2019. Entitled “Planning education in the AI era: Lead the leap”, the Conference was attended by around 500 representatives from more than 100 countries and 10 international organizations. President Xi Jingping sent a congratulatory letter to the conference, and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan attended the event and delivered a speech.
The Beijing Consensus recommends governments and other stakeholders in UNESCO member states to take action in a range of areas, including AI planning in education policies, education management and delivery, teaching and teacher empowerment, learning assessment, development of values and skills for life and work in the AI era, lifelong learning, promoting equitable and inclusive use of AI in education, gender equality, ethical use of education data, monitoring, evaluation and research, and financing and international cooperation.
The Consensus states that countries need to lead appropriate policy responses aimed at the systematic integration of AI and education to innovate in education, teaching and learning, and leverage AI to accelerate the delivery of open and ﬂexible education systems that enable equitable, relevant and quality lifelong learning opportunities for all that will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the shared future for mankind.
The Consensus affirms that AI platforms and data-based learning analytics should be adopted as key technologies in building integrated lifelong learning systems to enable personalized learning anytime, anywhere and potentially for anyone. It stresses the need to ensure that AI promotes high-quality education and learning opportunities for all, irrespective of gender, disability, social or economic status, ethnic or cultural background, or geographic location.
The Consensus also calls on efforts to support forward-looking reviews of frontier issues related to the implications of emerging AI development, and facilitate the exploration of effective strategies and practices for using AI to innovate in education, with a view to building an international community with common views on AI and education.