AI May Address Ethical Issues in Universities

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Key Takeaways:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be a part of the conversation on universitiesā€™ responses to ethical issues.
  • Machines can be discriminatory, exclusionary, and harmful in many ways.
  • The new National Centre for AI in Tertiary Education is eyeing to adapt a framework for UK education

In response to the alarming issues on student well-being, sexual misconduct, and discrimination, artificial intelligence (AI) is deemed necessary for inclusion in the list of priorities of most universities.

Throughout the years, technology has been a critical part of higher education. With the urgency posed by the vulnerabilities surrounding ethical issues, universities are encouraged to revisit their policies and approaches in working with students. This is where AI must come in.

Many institutions keep up with the trends by using big data models to meet annual enrollment targets, engagement, retention, career placement, and revenue goals.

However, looking closely at how technology impacts education, machines do have flaws. They can be discriminatory, exclusionary, and worst of all, harmful in many ways. For instance, some facial analysis software cannot detect dark-skinned persons until they put a white mask on.

While the concepts of AI and machine learning were considered neutral by definition, there remains the question of whether they can be ideal for use in the education setting where discrimination remains a pressing issue remains. Discriminatory bias should not occur while implementing technology.

The answer?

The new national center for AI in tertiary education, led by Jisc, a non-profit UK company providing digital solutions for UK education and research, and supported by innovation-focused universities and colleges throughout the UK, hopes to address these ethical issues affecting institutions and students.

In close coordination with educational institutions, start-ups, technology companies, and education and AI experts, the center is eyeing to dig deeper into the effectiveness and ethicality of these tech-related products and services.

The center is also working with the Institute for Ethical AI & Machine Learning to adapt a framework for UK education and test it to a specific standard of teaching and learning. With this, an ethical education can be a possibility. 

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