April 24, 2018

Department of Educational Studies | Critical Dialogues Seminar Series

The Education of, and by, Machines: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Education Policy

P. Taylor Webb, Associate Professor, EDST, UBC
Kalervo N. Gulson, Associate Professor, School of Education, UNSW

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Ponderosa Commons Oak House (PCOH) 2012

Performance data are central to current forms of education policy-making, for instance school and university rankings. Moreover, the use of data is increasingly being supported by the development of mathematical algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI). AI automates data analysis through abilities to learn from data sets without being explicitly programmed to do so. While in its early stages, AI uses algorithms to develop education policy recommendations, for example, real-time system and performance updates, predictions about student groups who will not achieve Grade 3 reading proficiency, and cross-national, synchronous tutoring ‘apps’ (Gulson & Webb, 2017). In this talk, Webb and Gulson discuss their current research project that examines how AI is translated according to the political, social, and institutional characteristics of different places, resulting in uneven trajectories and impacts of educational policy-making and analysis. This study focuses on the interactions between AI and schooling systems located in Canada, Australia, the UK, and USA. These policy trajectories and mobilities constitute, and are constituted by, emerging modes of network governance in education, that are beginning to use the autonomous calculation of numbers and performance.