Epsom College Launches AI in Education: a World First | Epsom College
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Epsom College Launches AI in Education: a World First

On Monday, Epsom College - in partnership with the multi-academy Bourne Education Trust - launched the world's first cross-sector body to oversee AI in education, and ensure it develops in the best interests of young people

Sir Anthony Seldon, says, “This is an unprecedented coming together of people from all education sectors, political affiliations, sectors and industries. We must seize the initiative to ensure rapidly developing generative AI technology is in the interests of learners, because schools cannot rely on or trust anyone else to do it for us. We slept on social media; teachers must help to shape AI.”

The body, called AI In Education, is a 100-member strong group of: 

  • leading educationalists (state and independent)
  • the heads of each of the UK’s exam boards, chaired by Lord (David) Puttnam
  • scientists (including the Astronomer Royal and AI specialists from the Alan Turing Institute and British Academy)
  • technologists (including Google)
  • politicians (including Jim Knight, Lord Clement Jones and Baroness Morgan)
  • academics (including Cambridge University’s Deepmind Professor of Machine Learning).

AI in Education is independent, not for profit, and has been developed by teachers themselves to ensure the interests of young people will always remain central as AI develops and advances at a quicker rate of technological change than we have ever seen in education.

It is borne of the belief that if schools are to optimise the benefits of AI, they need to seize control of the conversation themselves and provide real time, specific and informed advice to the sector.

Fast rate of change

“Schools are bewildered by the fast rate of change in AI, and seek secure guidance and counsel on the best way forward. But whose advice can we trust? The truth is that AI is moving far too quickly for government or parliament alone to provide the real time advice that schools need,” adds Sir Anthony.

With AI in Education, the education sector itself – guided by some of the sharpest minds in politics, business, technology and psychology – will offer schools, teachers, parents, students and governors the very best advice on how to ensure that AI technologies are in the interests of all, but particularly the least advantaged, the disenfranchised, and those with learning difficulties.

“It will be a fight,” says Sir Anthony, “and it will be a fight teachers have to win in the interests of the young, and society at large. AI in Education will help ensure AI will be far more sensitive to young people’s mental health, wellbeing, and genuine educational interests and opportunities. This initiative is an uprising by educators to wrest control from the tech companies in the interests of all.”

  • AI in Education launched with a website (ai-in-education.co.uk) offering advice, resources and case studies for those working in all educational settings. The website will be updated regularly as new products, issues and opportunities arise in this fast-moving climate.
  • A conference, to be held at Epsom College on 22 November 2023, will then be followed by a rolling programme of activities that provides focused support and guidance to all those working within the sector.
  • The launch was announced by BBC’s Today programme and The Times, see below for links:

The Times (link is behind a paywall)

BBC Radio 4, Today Programme (scroll to 48mins)