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8 Sep 2023 Blog post

Noémie Gervais

Working Groups Coordinator

AI and Education: Building on literacy for responsible use in educational contexts

The fine days of summer are slowly drawing to a close, making way for the start of a new school year. For students and teachers alike, the start of a new year brings both excitement and new challenges.

For the education sector, one of the major challenges is undoubtedly the democratization of new conversational robots using generative intelligence, which is significantly modifying learners’ information-gathering habits, particularly when the exercise aims at developing analytical and writing skills. Indeed, these conversational tools generate texts of an editorial and argumentation quality that is sometimes sufficient for an academic context that may lead one to believe that the student has acquired the ability to produce this type of content. Given the ease of access to generative AI platforms, we can expect them to be adopted on a massive scale in school. However, without dedicated tools or critical reflexes needed to make responsible use of this technology, the potential risks of bias for students are numerous.

In fact, this is the central message of UNESCO’s new publication on generative AI and the future of education: we need to act now to adapt education systems to those who will soon be taking their place on the benches. Because this technology is constantly evolving, there is no doubt that new tools will emerge in the months and years to come. By putting digital literacy at the forefront of educational programs, students will develop the skills they need to use AI tools responsibly and inclusively. On that note, UNESCO has just released a Guidance for Generative AI in Education and Research document which was presented during its Digital Learning Week.

Let’s remember that today’s learners are tomorrow’s workers. It is by mobilizing collectively to advance AI and education that we will have a positive and lasting impact on society. 

Wishing you all a wonderful back-to-school season!

Noémie Gervais


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