Back Council of Europe promotes AI in education while safeguarding rights

Council of Europe promotes AI in education while safeguarding rights

At the recent EdTech Congress organised by EDUTech Cluster in Barcelona from 11-13 April, Villano Qiriazi, Head of the Council of Europe's Education Department, highlighted the organisation's efforts to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into education without compromising human rights, democracy and the rule of law. He emphasised the crucial role of education in addressing the challenges and opportunities of digital development.

The Congress, which opened with remarks from national and regional leaders, brought together stakeholders from the private sector, educational institutions, and research communities in Spain to discuss AI, data and learning analytics, and the broader implications of digital transformation in education.

In his keynote speech, the Head of Education discussed the Council of Europe's strategy for 2024-2030, "Learners First - Education for Today's and Tomorrow's Democratic Societies". He explained how this strategy aims to prioritise the needs of learners in the face of current and future digital challenges. He also highlighted the importance of a specific regulatory framework for education to ensure that AI technologies benefit, rather than harm, learners.

The Council has finalised a draft Framework Convention on AI, which sets out general principles for the life cycle of AI systems, with a focus on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It also announced plans to develop policy recommendations and tools for the effective governance of AI in education and its integration into teaching and learning practices, including a European Review Framework for AI in educational technology.

This comprehensive approach by the Council of Europe aims to promote an innovative yet safe education system that empowers learners through a multi-perspective and interdisciplinary educational framework.

The event also featured a panel discussion with Barbara Wasson, Director of SLATE at the University of Bergen and expert of the Council of Europe AI Education Group, and moderated by Ismael Peña-López, Director of the School of Public Administration of Catalonia. The panel explored practical approaches to incorporating AI into educational settings, emphasising the importance of maintaining educational quality, empowering learners, and robust data protection measures.

For further information on the Council of Europe's education department initiatives in digital transformation, please visit our website.

Barcelona, Spain 15 April 2024
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