Department sets up ‘horizon-scanning’ group to keep an eye on new technology
The Department for Education has set up a team to allow digital, policy, and delivery professionals to explore how artificial intelligence might impact the UK’s education system.
In answer to a written parliamentary question, schools minister Nick Gibb said that “AI is a complex, emerging area”.
“The department has seen some outstanding examples of AI and machine learning being used within schools and colleges in England to support teachers to deliver curriculum content as well as to automate burdensome non-teaching tasks such as marking,” he said. “However, the impact of these technologies in the classroom still remains largely unevidenced.”
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To keep track of developments and investigate the potential impact of AI – both in policymaking and in front-line teaching – the DfE has established a cross-departmental “AI horizon scanning group”, Gibb said, “so that policy, digital and delivery teams within the department can explore how AI may impact our policies, as well as the benefits it can bring to the education system”.
He added: “The department also regularly engages with those at the cutting edge of these technologies. For example, the department is a member of the new Institute for Ethical AI & Machine Learning.”
Gibb was responding to a question posed by fellow Tory MP David Davis.