Join us for an event at the Houses of Parliament, Committee Room 14

July 18th, from 6pm to 7.15pm.

AI and Education: Existential threat or an everyday toolkit?

Hosted by Lord Jim Knight and Chi Onwurah MP (Shadow Secretary of State, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). Chaired by Jen Persson. Lead contributors include

Advance registration is required. Reserve a place via Eventbrite. If you prefer not to use that tool but want to join, just RSVP via our contact page.

Schools are sold AI in tools to support teaching and learning, biometric cashless payment systems, for classroom management, and even to infer and predict emotional states and mental health needs. The rapid recent growth in access to generative AI like ChatGPT and DALL-E has made questions more urgent over how schools manage plagiarism, copyright and authenticity.

Now we are being told, artificial intelligence could pose a “risk of extinction” to humanity on the scale of nuclear war or pandemics, and mitigating that risk should be a “global priority,” according to an open letter signed by well-known AI stakeholders. But what about the immediate problems of the past and today? The summer of 2020 brought a “mutant algorithm” to UK exams and the platform that parents found U.S. students could game by packing nonsense text with keywords to get a perfect score. And what do we do with edTech that sells itself to schools hyped as AI, but in fact, isn’t? It’s even been reported recently that the UK Department for Education is consulting over the future use of national pupil data in artificial intelligence.

What does this mean for children, learners and staff in practice; as well as for employers? What is the role for the Department for Education and government? Are MPs and peers taking the UK in the right direction with new regulation in the UK Data Protection Bill, and AI White Paper? How does it compare with what’s going on internationally? What could and should educational settings be doing? Most importantly, how do we ensure that technology is used in ways that support equitable access to education, and does not undermine human rights, democracy and the rule of law?

This non-partisan roundtable discussion will be led by very brief introductory talks and is open to all. We welcome informed contributions and questions from attendees with the aim of moving forward views on what UK regulation and practice should consider now, and going forward, on AI and education — including for the Department for Education open consultation on generative AI.

Speakers will give a ‘bullet point style’ key points from their focus area, in order from macro to micro, in order to have a discussion ‘with’ the audience and create a room consensus of key issues and ideas to address what is working well today, what is not, what is missing and what is possible. We want to create a working summary of what would / should “good” look like around AI and state education in the UK; and what are the necessary steps and actions to take away in order to achieve it.

Entrance: Cromwell Green (Main entrance). Ask for directions to the Committee Rooms corridor. Please allow time for a queue and security checks. This event will not be live-streamed but a transcript will be available after the event.


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