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An interactive AI-driven dialogue brought to life real time sentiment analysis of 20 students from 4 countries on FramerSpace, UNESCO MGIEP’s digital learning platform  

Experts collaborate to deliberate on foundational guidelines for the use of AI and Social-Emotional Learning in Education

New Delhi, India | Feb 06, 2020: The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) brought together experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in education, through a day-long seminar titled ‘Future of Education – Artificial Intelligence for Social and Emotional Learning’. This insightful forum was ideated with the objective of deliberating on integration of AI in education and further using AI to mainstream SEL in education systems in order to build more peaceful and sustainable societies.

A unique aspect of the seminar was a live student-led dialogue between twenty students from four countries on critical issues of migration, refugees and civil war, conducted on MGIEP’s indigenously developed learning platform, FramerSpace. Real-time analytics from FramerSpace provided interesting insights into unsaid emotional turmoil and sentiments students felt while engaging in the dialogue on such critical issues. This one of a kind analysis helps educators understand how learners affect towards courses, thereby helping educators create individualised and non-linear learning paths for learners.

In his welcome note, Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP spoke about how AI can scale SEL, stating, “It is imperative for education systems to go beyond merely applying AI to reinforce existing teaching methodologies. Instead, we should explore transformative pedagogical approaches that apply the technology to build both cognitive and emotional intelligence of learners.” He further added, “We are proud to be joined by experts in this important discussion to drive inclusive education. AI is expected to bring significant contribution in the field of education but at the same time it has certain challenges that need to be addressed and through these conversations we can begin deliberating on a framework that might govern the ownership and management of AI in education.”

Following the live student-led dialogue, experts engaged in panel discussions on critical topics, including ‘The Impact of AI on Human Cognition, ‘How AI augment Social and Emotional Learning’ and ‘The Ethical and Practical Concerns in Implementing AI for Education’.

The first panel discussion saw experts such as Wayne Holmes, Nesta UK and Stefania Druga, Cognimates engage in a dialogue to understand the impact of AI on learning, including its implications on educators and learners. This discussion was followed by a deliberation on how AI can augment Social and Emotional Learning, in which the panelists reflected on innovative approaches in using AI for SEL such as through analysis of education data and training of educators. Interestingly, one of the panelists, Dr. Nandini Chatterjee Singh, UNESCO MGIEP shared her own experience and explorations in the Neurosciences, linking them with SEL. Further Dr. Gregoire Borst, showcased his research in cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology to help create a training infrastructure, enabled by AI, to nurture the emotional intelligence of young learners.

The event concluded with an engaging discussion on the ethical and practical concerns of implementing AI for education. Dan Shefet, Specialist Lawyer, Valli Kumari Vatsavayi, Andhra University and Ronald Baecker, University of Toronto, discussed the challenges facing AI, including how education data should be used ethically. The moderator, Anantha Duraiappah prodded the panelists, questioning if a new multi-lateral multi-stakeholder body such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) might be necessary to regulate the use of this data and the use of AI to ensure students reach their potential. The seminar saw attendance by over 400 participants, including teachers, educators, students, academics and policymakers. The seminar was attended by Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO during her State Visit to India.

Based on key takeaways from the forum, UNESCO MGIEP will produce an academic paper on the use of AI in SEL training. 

About Mahender Bansal

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