UNESCO collaborates with Francophone countries to plan AI and education policies

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On March 23, 2023, UNESCO and KIX Africa 21 Hub It brought together nearly 400 participants from 60 countries to launch the French online edition of UNESCO’s publications Artificial Intelligence and Education: Guidance for Policy Makers. The event attended policy makers in 15 Francophone countries and facilitated knowledge sharing and policy discussions on how to leverage AI to accelerate the achievement of SDG 4. 2023 edition of the French and Francophone Weekwith the aim of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in the digitization process.

The publication “Artificial Intelligence and Education: Guidance for Policy Makers” is a key tool for enabling policy makers to become AI ready. Developed in line with 2019 Beijing Consensus on Artificial Intelligence and Education, it supports UNESCO’s humanitarian vision for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. The increasing urgency imposed by artificial intelligence technologies, such as ChatGPT, has enhanced the importance of this publication, which has become one of the most downloaded UNESCO publications, providing a strong confirmation of the importance of this topic.

In her opening remarks, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Stefania Giannini stressed the urgency for policymakers to consider how regulations and policies must adapt to the emerging and unknown challenges that AI poses to ethical and educational issues. She highlighted the importance of adopting a human-centered approach to ensure that the development of artificial intelligence enhances human capabilities without undermining them. Ms. Giannini presented UNESCO’s work on artificial intelligence in education and the larger set of policy guidance on digital learning that the organization provides to Member States, as well as the UN initiative Public digital learning portals It was launched at the Transforming Education Summit in 2022, which aims to expand access to high-quality digital educational content for all.

The launch of the guide was followed by high-level discussions about the role of artificial intelligence in education, the challenges and opportunities it poses, and the need for ethical policies to govern it. Secretary General L.N Conferenceboss IFEF And projects manager AUF He highlighted the promises and challenges that artificial intelligence holds for training the citizens of tomorrow. The KIX Africa 21 Hub Coordinator gave a brief overview of the center and its programmes, while the Head of Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education Unit at UNESCO gave an overview of the guidance to policy makers.

During a high-level panel discussion, representatives from five countries, including education ministers from Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Guinea-Bissau, and representatives from Cabo Verde and Burundi, discussed their country’s national strategies or initiatives to benefit from artificial intelligence to achieve SDG44. The team also addressed AI governance issues in education and developing the capacity to ensure that AI is used for the common good. Other topics presented for discussion included state curricula, efforts to regulate data use, and the role of data IFADEM project In the digitization of education, facilitating access to digital technologies for students, plans to include artificial intelligence in education, challenges in energy production, bandwidth, equipment and data security.

A second technical committee analyzed countries’ action plans to operationalize and implement national strategies on artificial intelligence with a focus on ensuring quality and fairness. It also examined the national measures being taken to address the challenges posed by artificial intelligence in terms of ethics, accountability and trust. Interventions included representatives from Cabo Verde, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, and experts from Tunisia and France.

UNESCO has supported more than 70 Member States in developing national policies on digital learning by providing guidance and capacity development workshops. “Artificial Intelligence and Education: Guidance for Policymakers” is an integral part of UNESCO’s portfolio in support of digital learning policies that includes other recent guidelines on policy planning, including Guidelines for the development of open educational resource policiesAnd Guidelines for ICT in education policies and master plans And Education and blockchain.

The launch event for the French version was organized by the UNESCO Unit for Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education, the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Dakar, in collaboration with the KIX Africa 21 Hub and its governing confederation, the Institut de la Francophonie for Education and Training (IFEF), the Conférence des ministres de l ‘Education des Etats et gouvernements de la Francophonie (CONFEMEN), and Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF).

This launch event is part of a series of launch events organized by UNESCO for multilingual versions of the guide, following the launch of the Arabic and Spanish versions.

The Arabic version of the publication was launched in March 2022, in the presence of nearly 500 participants, in cooperation with the Regional Center for Educational Planning, the UAE Minister of Education, and representatives of the Gulf region. In April 2022, the Spanish version of the publication was launched in partnership with the UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago and the Category 2 UNESCO Cetic.br (Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society) with the presence of more than 300 participants from more than 40 countries nation.