Opinions expressed by invited speakers or program participants do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the U.S. government, its affiliates, or the Atlantic Council GeoTech Center.

The eighth AI Connect webinar was held on Thursday, October 27, 2022, and focused on applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. 

The event began with a fireside chat between Dr. Lloyd Whitman, Senior Director of the GeoTech Center and Dr. Mark Schneider, Director of the Institute of Education Sciences. The discussion addressed the importance of individualized instruction and high dosage tutoring in providing a comprehensive learning experience, both of which can be achieved with advancements in artificial intelligence. Following the learning loss from the Covid-19 pandemic, AI-informed teaching, learning, and assessment tools are poised to close the gap known as the Covid Learning Crisis. Dr. Schneider concluded his remarks by emphasizing that interpretability and transparency will be necessary features to ensure that the use of AI in education has positive effects on all learning communities by following the Institute of Education Sciences’ nine SEER principles that intend to ensure equitable application and access.  

The fireside chat was followed by a panel discussion featuring Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab Associate Director Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, Pennsylvania State University Nittany AI Alliance Innovation Strategist and Program Manager Brad Zdenek, Schmidt Futures Learning Engineering Fellow Daniel Jarratt, and U.S. Agency for International Development AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow Dr. Stefanie Falconi. Dr. Breazeal presented on the MIT RAISE and FutureMakers programs that educate children and society on the components of AI to nurture and prepare the next generation of diverse and responsible AI-powered change. Mr. Zdenek provided details on efforts at Penn State’s Nittany AI Alliance to create cross-major engagement on AI prototypes and minimally viable products through programming for undergraduate and graduate students. Mr. Jarratt explored various methodologies for developing educational technology strengthened by AI. Finally, Dr. Falconi focused on the effects of AI integration in education, especially on existing power dynamics and how humans must be put first in all interdisciplinary AI discussions. The panel was moderated by Julian Müller-Kaler, Resident Senior Fellow at the GeoTech Center, and together the group provided varied solutions to integrate and accommodate artificial intelligence into all education levels ranging from K-12 to life-long learners. 

The webinar concluded with two live demonstrations of technologies embracing AI to improve educational processes and outcomes. University of California Los Angeles Professor of Psychology Dr. Jim Stigler provided a demonstration of CourseKata integration in Canvas to teach programming and statistical skills. Smart Paper Co-Founder Nirmal Patel presented the process through which Smart Paper assessments and AI have improved educational access and processes across rural areas of India with relatively low digital access. Throughout the webinar, each expert emphasized the importance of building and implementing AI-informed processes and technology that will ultimately meet the needs of learners wherever they are on the sliding scales of learning development and access.  

Presentation Resources

Mark Schneider 

Cynthia Breazeal 

Brad Zdenek 

Daniel Jarratt 

Stefanie Falconi 

Jim Stigler 

Nirmal Patel