Lectures  |  ,   |  March 29, 2021

Efficiency, Efficacy, and Equity: Leveraging Ethical AI to Revolutionize Education

Keynote presentation by Kara McWilliams. Presented at AAAI 2021 Spring Symposium on Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Education.

AI has the potential to transform how learners engage with instructional content, connect with educators, and learn from one another. Advances in technology over the past decade, paired with the evolution of learning sciences has given us keen insight into how people learn and how they might meet their goals most efficiently and effectively. Still, AI remains in its infancy and we continue to discover what learners and educators need and how to deliver it to them meaningfully and ethically. It’s important that the field align on foundational principles of how we research and develop technology-enhanced learning solutions so that we continue to work toward AI for good.

In this talk I will discuss three foundational principles of the application of AI to educational technology. The first is that AI is assistive to offer learners and their support networks efficiencies that personalize the educational experience so they can meet their goals. Second, that AI scientists and developers have the responsibility to demonstrate evidence of what works, for whom, and why both to build trust among users and to drive the field forward. And third, that AI be leveraged for good, with equity in education as cornerstone to any research and development efforts. In this talk I will unpack these principles, offer examples of how we build on them in the ETS AI Research Labs, and share best practices that colleagues in the field might consider replicating in their R & D efforts.


About the Presenter

Dr. Kara McWilliams is the General Manager of the ETS AI Research Laboratories. Kara leads research and development efforts across three AI Labs – The Natural Language Processing Lab, the Personalized Learning and Assessment Lab, and the Language Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Lab. Her vision in the labs is the development of solutions that are research-based, user-obsessed, and technology-enabled. Most of Kara’s work has focused on how to understand user needs from the perspective of their values, beliefs, and experiences and merge the research on how people learn most effectively with the application of innovative technology. She has conducted extensive work on the efficacy of educational technology, ethical use of AI, and communicating both to users in meaningful ways. Kara holds a doctorate in Educational Research, Measurement and Evaluation and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Boston College.