This week my group was searching for subtopics of artificial intelligence and while I was searching for topics a headline caught my eye. The title of the paper was “Ethical Guidelines for AI in Education: Starting a Conversation”. It was written by Robert M. Aiken and Richard G. Epstein two computer science professors from Temple University. Prior to reading this paper I hadn’t spent much time thinking about AI’s role in education, so I decided to take a look. One statement in this article I thought was particularly interesting was “Developing AI systems should give teachers new and creative roles that might not have been possible before the use of technology. Systems should not attempt to replace the teacher.”
I began to think about the role of teacher and whether or not there are things a human teacher could do that a robot could not. Major developments in educational technology are still probably a long ways away but researchers in the field indicate that artificial intelligence has the potential to transform every area education. This had me thinking about a lot of different ideas but one ethical question stood out to me. Is it our right to be taught by a human being? I think it’s a strange but interesting question. After taking some time to think it over my personal opinion is that it IS a right. Thinking far ahead in the future and trying to imagine what it might be like, one possible scenario I could see developing is human teachers become a really sought after and valuable commity because it is much more cost effective to have an AI teacher, therefore the demand for human teachers increases so much that only the rich are able to pay for human teachers. I think in that scenario it would be the government’s responsibility to try and create a level playing field and support the parts of the community that may be struggling financially. I think it still too early to predict exactly how AI technology will integrate with education, and what role it will play. It think there are a lot amazing possibilities with AI in education. Currently there are many problems with the education system in the US, especially with schools that are located in areas that are struggling financially. I would hope that AI technology in education helps to address some of those issues by bringing the cost of education down and increasing the quality. I think it is important to begin thinking about the ethics of AI technology before it is too large of a component of the education system.