Head teachers in the UK have expressed their concern about the rapid rate of change in artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on education, saying that developments are “bewildering.”
In a letter to The Times, educators from the state and private sectors are launching a group of experts to provide advice to schools on the areas of AI that are “beneficial” and “damaging.” They argue that the technology is evolving too quickly for the government to provide adequate guidance to schools.
The teachers, led by Sir Anthony Seldon, the headteacher of Epsom College, believe that AI represents both the “greatest threat” and the “greatest benefit” to schools, students, and staff. The group has also questioned the role of digital companies in regulating AI, saying that they lack the ability to act in the interests of schools. Meanwhile, concerns have grown about AI in the UK, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has called for “guardrails” to be put in place to maximize the benefits of AI while minimizing risks to society.
The educators are pleased that the government is addressing the issue but feel the need to establish an independent body of experts composed of leading teachers and guided by independent AI and digital experts to provide advice. A spokesperson for the Department of Education said that the government was working with experts to share best practices and manage risks.