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Our Origin Story

In 2021, more than a year before the public release of ChatGPT, the EDSAFE AI Alliance was formed to synthesize the initiatives of diverse stakeholders globally and ensure that Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovations in education were aligned and developed with fundamental principles, which ensured safety, accountability, fairness and transparency and ethical development. With a shared vision for clear policy and practice guidance in the rapidly evolving landscape of AI in education, the “SAFE” framework was created. This framework focuses on four key areas of AI development, policy, and implementation practices: Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Transparency, and Effective use of AI. The framework was conceived as a way to foster informed discussion among diverse stakeholders and allow for education to harness AI’s promise while protecting our students and society from its potential peril.  

Origins of the SAFE Framework
Artificial intelligence encompasses not just generative AI but a set of artificial intelligence technologies, including surveillance and synthesis AI. As these artificial intelligence tools advance at an incredible pace, policymakers, educators, developers, and industry stakeholders recognized that conventional policy-making frameworks and timelines were insufficient to keep up with technological advancements or the demand for regulatory and enforcement action. 

The EDSAFE AI Alliance developed the SAFE framework to respond to the urgent demand for coherent guidance that could streamline the policy development and technology implementation processes, align diverse perspectives, and put in place an approach to address immediate and long-term concerns of these technologies. The framework embraces the principle that if AI innovation in education is not done safely, with adequate consideration of stakeholder interests, or with inadequate guardrails and guidelines specific to education, the result would be a loss of trust that would stifle or even halt innovation in education altogether.


Global Coherence and Local Adaptability

Recognizing the diversity of educational ecosystems and actors globally, the SAFE Framework incorporated a range of taxonomies and models, drawing from established guidelines such as the GDPR and UNESCO's AI and Education policy guidance. Overall, the SAFE Framework synthesizes 21 global trust and technology frameworks. By leveraging these resources, EdSAFE AI Alliance aims to amplify existing systems and empower stakeholders to adapt the framework to their specific contexts while ensuring global coherence and supporting international best practices.

The Development of a Multi-Stakeholder Solution

By providing a structured approach and shared vocabulary, the framework aims to support policy development and, through defining prioritization and clarification steps, help identify critical issues that could be acted upon immediately while addressing those requiring further research and deliberation. Defining areas of responsibility and governance for multiple stakeholders was central to implementing the steps. The issue of safety is anchored as the framework’s first principle, underpinning its importance while recognizing existing regulatory systems in many countries regarding data privacy and security and their role in regulating AI technologies.


The EdSAFE AI Alliance addresses the inherent challenges of moving quickly and purposefully by designing its prioritization and clarification support mechanisms, which aim to guide policymakers through the complexities of AI regulation. Using the SAFE framework, the Alliance has created a streamlined process and accompanying resources for identifying issues, determining their urgency, and aligning them with global and national standards while allowing flexibility to accommodate local requirements and context. This work is continually refined through EDSAFE AI’s policy labs.


The SAFE Framework supports policymakers navigating the fast-moving waters of AI in education. By simplifying complex issues into actionable steps and fostering consensus among stakeholders, the Framework has paved the way for more effective and timely policy implementation, ultimately striving to ensure that AI in education benefits all learners.  


The SAFE framework has informed many international, national, and local policy discussions, and the EDSAFE AI Alliance continues to develop the framework, support its adoption, and further refine its application through our global alliance work and policy agenda.


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