Governing doubt: Automated education and explainable Artificial Intelligence

Governing doubt: Automated education and explainable Artificial Intelligence


A new DER seminar based on forthcoming work from Professor Kalervo Gulson.

12 Nov 2019 | 1pm to 2pm | room 3.51 | third floor of the Learning and Teaching building | Clayton Campus | ALL WELCOME!

This is a brownbag seminar so feel free to bring your own lunch!

This paper makes some tentative claims about the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into education governance in the K-12 sector. My interest is to explore the juxtaposition of certainty and doubt in this phenomenon. There are two parts to this claim:

 1. that predictive and prescriptive analytics in education governance are creating new desires for certainty and optimisation in education decision making; and

2. the use of AI introduces doubt that is built into the processes (i.e., human, data, algorithms) of automation, doubt and uncertainty that attempt to be ameliorated through explainable AI.

This paper draws on interviews with computer scientists to undertake preliminary explorations of the limits of explainability in using AI, and to the ways AI is changing how much certainty we are willing to trade for performance in education governance.

Kalervo Gulson is a Professor in the School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. His current research program examines: 1. how Artificial Intelligence moves from development to use in education governance, including the changing role of technology companies; 2. the ways AI is changing policy making in education, including notions of anticipatory governance and the emergence of the posthuman policy actor; 3. the links between computation, race and education policy. This is relatively new work, primarily co-authored with P. Taylor Webb and Sam Sellar, and published in Research in Education: Policy, Theory and Practice, and Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Journal, and forthcoming in Learning, Media & Technology, and Journal of Education Policy. With Webb and Sellar he is attempting to finish a manuscript for University of Minnesota Press titled Data Disneyland: Essays on the Future of Education Policy.

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