Artificial Intelligence in Education
Big Data, Black Boxes, and Technological Solutionism
Keywords:Artificial Intelligence, Learning Analytics, Persuasive Technologies, Educational Contexts, Techno, Technology-Enhanced Learning
Digital technology is constantly permeating and transforming all social systems, and education is not an exception. In the last decade, the unstoppable development of Artificial Intelligence, based on machine learning algorithms and fuelled by Big Data, has given a new push to the hope of improving learning-based machines, and providing educational systems with ‘effective’ solutions. Educators, educational researchers and policymakers, in general, lack the knowledge and expertise to understand the underlying logic of these new ‘black boxes’, and we do not have sufficient research-based evidence to understand the consequences that an excessive use of screens has in students’ development. This paper first discusses the notions behind what Big Data is and what it means in our current society; how data is the new currency that has driven the use of algorithms in all areas of our society, and specifically in the field of Artificial Intelligence; and the concept of ‘black boxes’, and its possible impact on education. Then, it discusses the underlying educational discourses, pointing out the need to analyse not only their contributions but also their possible negative effects. It finishes with considerations and a proposed agenda for further studying this phenomenon.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Xavier Giró Gràcia, Juana M. Sancho-Gil
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