Evidence: Fair & Robust AI-based Assessment

The All Party Parliamentary Group on AI is a multi-year initiative to help anticipate the widespread impacts that AI could have on society. They convene Evidence Sessions on different themes, in which Lords and MPs have the opportunity to hear from, and question, diverse experts.

As noted in the introduction to one of their recent reports,

“The evidence APPG AI has been gathering since 2017 shows education at the heart of both the opportunities and the risks in the narratives forming around AI.”

“[…] In 2019, APPG AI launched the Education Pillar to tackle some of these multi-faceted questions over the next two years. We will focus on:

  • how AI can be used as a tool to improve learning,
  • what skills we need to prioritise as a society,
  • how school curriculums need to transform,
  • and what the role of ethics in education should be.”

Reports (access requires a free signup) on the education theme to date have collated evidence on:

The latest meeting focused on Designing Fair & Robust AI-based Assessment Systems. This brought together a very interesting set of people, to which I was honoured to be invited.

The meeting switched from the House of Lords to Zoom (so a distinct loss of oak panelling and leather upholstery there!) but it meant many others could tune in live.

The guiding questions they set were:

  1. What are the benefits and challenges of different types of AI-based assessment systems in education?
  2. How can it be guaranteed that they will deliver reliable and fair results?
  3. How might AI-based assessment systems change the teacher-student relationship?
  4. How will these technologies affect students’ motivation and trust in a fair evaluation of their performance?
  5. How to prepare students, teachers, and parents before implementing AI-based assessment technologies in education?
  6. How do AI and human understandings of assessment differ?

With just 5 minutes/speaker, it was an interesting challenge to decide what and how to present. Here’s the video, and the written statement which includes the sources I summarise (with thanks to several colleagues for their input).

To see all the other contributions, here’s the full meeting replay and final Parliamentary Brief.



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