Can computers detect social bias?

The first 2021 seminar of the Special Interest Group focused on Artificial Intelligence in Education (openAIED SIG) was led by Josmario Albuquerque, a second-year PhD student at the OU Institute of Educational Technology, on Wednesday 7th July.

With a background in Computer Science, Josmario has been involved in IT projects related to Artificial Intelligence in Education, Learning Analytics, and the use of Computer Science to address social issues. His current research fits under the scope of these past projects, since he is studying group biases in online learning settings. During the seminar, Josmario suggested that human biases and stereotypes are still present in educational settings, diminishing several aspects of learning. Continue reading

openAIED SIG: 7th July

Join us online for the next openAIED Special Interest Group on Wednesday 7th July at (14:00 – 15:30) for a presentation from Josmario Albuquerque (further details below) and updates from Dr Duygu Bektik and Dr Francisco Iniesto.

Uncovering social biases in online learning: insights from bias-detection approaches applied to the OU
Josmario Albuquerque

Abstract
Online educational technologies have transformed learning and teaching processes. For instance, researchers have proposed mechanisms to improve both students’ and teachers’ experience, e.g., tools to enhance collaboration, improve student engagement, and help teachers in designing and delivering new learning resources. However, despite the benefits of such technologies, recent findings have showed that issues related to social justice like human biases and stereotypes are still present in educational settings. Researchers have also shown that such issues can diminish several aspects of learning, e.g., academic performance, students’ confidence, and reduce engagement. In this presentation, I aim to highlight what is being used to uncover group biases in learning settings and share preliminary findings of exiting computational approaches applied to the OU VLE. A sample of 2024 sentences sampled from 91 OU modules across several disciplines was extracted and used as the input for two bias-detection algorithms. While potential biases were suggested by those approaches within the modules analysed, the extent to which those biases are relevant for an educational setting is questionable. Those results and the limitations of those mechanisms will be discussed, as well as implications and directions for future research in Artificial Intelligence in Education.

Bio
Josmario Albuquerque is currently a second-year research student at the Institute of Educational Technology, Open University. His current research focuses on group bias in online learning settings, where he expects to provide a mechanism to help the identification of racial biases in learning materials. Previously, he has investigated gender stereotypes in educational technologies while completing his master’s degree at the Federal University of Alagoas, Brazil. With a background in Computer Science, he has taken part in a few IT projects that include: developing an authoring tool to help tutors create customised Intelligent Tutoring Systems and improve students’ performance; and designing a video-monitoring learning analytics platform to inform tutors and school managers about the learning processes of bilingual students in a language school. Josmario’s interests include Artificial Intelligence in Education, Learning Analytics, and the general use of Computer Science to address social issues.

All are welcome. Please email openTEL for an invite or feel free to share the invite with those who would like to attend.

What’s in the openAIED SIG agenda for 2021?

The Special Interest Group focused on applying Artificial Intelligence in Education (openAIED SIG) from OpenTEL had its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021. The SIG event was led by Dr Duygu Bektik and Dr Francisco Iniesto from the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at The Open University.

The online session kicked off with a timeline that displayed what the openAIED SIG has done since it was launched by Dr Wayne Holmes and Dr Duygu Bektik in April 2018. The brief history of the SIG includes an animated series of sessions bringing together researchers across the university and beyond who are interested in AIED.

As you can tell, the SIG has welcomed numerous experts involved in a diverse range of topics, including ethics in AIED, e-assessment and learning analytics. They have also run a bidding workshop where researchers have had the opportunity to work together and write a proposal for potential research projects. It is expected that the upcoming sessions of 2021 will follow a similar vibrant timeline to the one presented above. Hence, the purpose of the meeting was to give people an opportunity to engage and decide the future agenda of the openAIED SIG.

Continue reading

openAIED SIG: 12th May

openAIED Special Interest Group
12th May (14:00 – 15:00)

We would like to invite you to the first openAIED SIG meeting of 2021. This informal meeting will allow you to participate in steering the upcoming plans of the openAIED SIG which will be introduced by Dr Duygu Bektik and Dr Francisco Iniesto.

Duygu and Paco will present their latest updates around their work as well as the direction of the SIG, which will be followed by roundtable discussions. We would be delighted to hear what you are doing in this area, what you would like to get out of this group, and how to steer the SIG’s future.

Join this meeting to decide together the openAIED SIG agenda for 2021!

Please email openTEL for an invite or to be added to the openAIED mailing list.

openAIED Presentations in December 2020

Presentations from Andrew Gargett, Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence, and Alison Fox, Senior Lecturer in Teaching and Learning (The Open University).

Wednesday 2nd December, 14:00 – 15:30
ONLINE: Adobe Connect
Adobe Connect Link for OU Staff
Link for external participants

Presentation 1: Topics in Social AI
Dr Andrew Gargett

Abstract:
While AI research and technology is becoming established in almost every sector of many national economies, from education and healthcare, to retail, transport, agriculture, automotive and professional services, it is far less clear how AI is impacting on other domains of our lives, including the social, psychological & cultural. My work in AI has taken me from more research-focused areas of modelling social and cultural features of communication and action between agents (natural and/or artificial), to more industry facing roles applying AI techniques, often at scale, to address business challenges across a range of industry sectors. This talk will attempt a kind of synthesis of these experiences. I will also report on an initiative within the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics around “social AI”. In order to bring these threads together, I will devote some time to considering the impact of the increasing push from within research and industry toward more socially responsible AI.

Bio:
Andrew Gargett recently joined The Open University’s School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, as a Lecturer in AI (July 2020). From February 2016, he led the AI team at the Hartree Centre, within the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Prior to this, he completed a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (2013-2015), at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, on the Gen-Meta project (automatically understanding and generating metaphor in natural language).

Presentation 2: Keeping humanity in AI in Education research
Dr Alison Fox

Abstract:
This presentation is based on a chapter drafted for a book under contract to Routledge entitled The Ethics of AI in Education: Who Cares? Data, algorithms, equity and biases, in educational contexts, edited by Wayne Holmes and Duygu Bektik. This was the result of an invitation to apply an ethical framework developed over the last 10 years, drawing together four ethical traditions, to the field of AI in Education research. This presentation will cover this analysis to identify a range of dimensions to keep in mind to ensure that humanity is retained within the field of AI in Education research.

Bio:
Alison is a Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport in WELS. She has developed interests in research ethics, including acting as part of the working group revising the British Educational Research Association ethical guidelines launched in 2018, as Ethics Advisor to a Horizon2020 project led by Cambridge University and is currently Deputy Chair of the OU HREC. She has led the design and running of two open courses about research ethics: A University of Leicester/FutureLearn MOOC People Studying People: Research Ethics in Society and is hosted at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ethical-research and an OpenLearn Badged course, here at the Open University, launched in October 2020 called Becoming an Ethical Researcher can be found at: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/education-development/becoming-ethical-researcher/content-section-overview-0?active-tab=description-tab