ETHICS in AIED: Who Cares? An EC-TEL workshop

Holmes, Wayne; Iniesto, Francisco; Sharples, Mike and Scanlon, Eileen (2019). ETHICS in AIED: Who Cares? An EC-TEL workshop. In: EC-TEL 2019 Fourteenth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, 16-19 Sep 2019, Delft (Netherlands).


The 2018 and 2019 AIED conferences workshop ETHICS in AIED: Who Cares? Was an important but only a first step towards addressing the far-reaching ethical questions raised by the field of AIED. The reality is that, although there are encouraging signs, most AIED research, development and deployment continues to take place in what is essentially a moral vacuum. In short, still today, little research has been undertaken, no guidelines have been provided, no policies have been developed, and no regulations have been enacted to address the specific ethical issues raised by the application of AI in educational contexts.
For these reasons, for the EC-TEL 2019 conference, we proposed a third ETHICS in AIED: Who Cares? Workshop. This built on the outcomes of the previous workshops (which includes a journal paper and commissioned book). It was an opportunity for researchers who are exploring AIED ethical issues to share their insights, to identify key ethical issues, to map out how to address the multiple challenges, and to inform best practice. The overarching aim was to help establish a basis for meaningful ethical reflection necessary for innovation in AIED. The workshop began with “ETHICS in AIED: What’s the problem?”.
Then was followed by “Addressing the Challenges”, round-table small-group discussions, each triggered by an ethics vignette or a provocative statement; and then “Mapping the Landscape”, in which two EC-TEL conference participants gave a fifteen-minute presentation on an ethics in AIED research issue with which they have been engaging. The workshop concluded with a whole-workshop discussion considering what Ethics in AIED 2025 will look like. A core outcome for this workshop was to identify and propose Ethics in AIED policy for the International AIED Society and future EC-TEL conferences to address.

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