Nov 1, 2022
Dale Allen reflects on his attendance at the Council of Europe's Working Conference on AI in Education
“Digital Transformation is always about Humans. Particularly human-to-human interactions and optimization supported by technology,” noted Dr. Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Minister of Digital Transformation, Slovenia.
I was struck by this statement that occurred as part of the opening remarks for the Working Conference on AI in Education hosted by the Council of Europe (CoE). I was fortunate to be representing DXtera and the EdSAFE AI Alliance at the 18 to 19 October conference entitled Artificial intelligence and Education: A critical view through the lens of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. I joined approximately 100 noted experts in the field, company representatives, researchers, ministry representatives and Councilors from across Europe to explore and discuss the regulatory positions to be determined by the Council of Europe. The focus of the event aligns with the Committee on AI under the Education program division of the CoE. The convening was focused on provisioning insight to help establish goals to support the use of AI in education that include: promising policies and strategies, sharing divergent perspectives for regulation to support innovation while protecting human rights, and to facilitate the development of guidelines with other parties (like the EdSAFE AI Alliance).
The comment resonated with me and our collective efforts to develop open source solutions to enable the use of data more effectively in education and to lead an ecosystem-wide effort to develop benchmarks to enable more trust in the use of AI in education. It resonated because that has been our philosophy from the start of DXtera and all of our community work. “Humans-at-the-center” is critical to why technology is developed and its ultimate use. This was highlighted throughout the event with clear statements that infrastructure that enables open data to be utilized by and with AI tools. This has been a core pillar of our work and would go a long way in supporting the CoE's intentions to have AI in education be utilized to support human rights, democracy, and the equitable delivery of education.
I could go on with much more detail, but I wanted to provide a quick highlight of the conference and to express my sincere thanks to the CoE for inviting me (and our broader DXtera communities) to be a part of the start of this multi-year discussion. DXtera (and the EdSAFE AI Alliance) stand ready to collaborate with the CoE, the participants in this committee and the conference, to help develop sound logic for regulations that support innovation, enable trust and result in SAFE AI to be utilized to support the human-centered delivery of education.