The agency warns that using AI as a monitoring tool would make instructors’ jobs “nearly impossible.”
In a recent report, the Department of Education warns that if artificial intelligence systems are allowed to be deployed in the classroom, they may be used to spy on teachers, rendering their work “nearly impossible.”
In a paper this week titled “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning,” the department made the case that AI should never replace human teachers.
The paper aims to evaluate the likelihood of integrating AI into the classroom. Although it claims that AI might improve teaching efficiency and assist in customizing lesson plans for each student, it also warned that AI might subject teachers to greater surveillance once implemented.
The report said that using a voice assistant in the kitchen could help us with easy tasks like setting a cooking timer. “However, the same voice assistant could hear things we wanted to keep secret. This kind of problem will come up in schools and for teachers.”
The study suggests that AI could be used in real classrooms to collect data that helps teachers do their jobs by offering specific resources based on what is being taught. However, this puts teachers at risk.
It said, “The same data could also be used to keep an eye on the teacher, and this could have consequences for the teacher.” “It will be very hard to make AI that teachers can trust and that makes their jobs easier if teachers are watched more.”
The department concluded that if AI is used in the classroom, “adequate” protections against teacher monitoring should be implemented. Other questions that need to be asked are whether AI is making teaching more accessible, whether teachers have power over AI-enabled tools, and how AI could be used to “improve equity, reduce bias, and increase cultural awareness.”
The Biden administration’s push for AI systems that keep teachers from being watched could start a political fight over how much power teachers have over their students and whether or not parents have the right to know what is being taught. Last week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona tweeted that “teachers know what is best for their kids” and that “we must trust teachers.” This caused some prominent Republicans to say that parents should have more say in what their kids learn in school.
After the Department of Justice sent out a memo in 2021 urging officials to look into threats of violence against local school leaders and teachers, Republicans, and parent groups also criticized the administration. The National School Boards Association asked the government to put these threats under “domestic terrorism.” That’s why the memo was written.
The group later apologized for using that word. Still, Republicans have accused the Biden administration of siding with teachers and working against parents who want to know what their kids are learning but aren’t always getting answers. The Department of Education’s report also said several times that AI should never replace human teachers.
The group later apologized for using that word. Still, Republicans have since accused the Biden administration of siding with teachers and working against parents who want to know what their kids are learning but aren’t always getting answers. The Department of Education’s report also said several times that AI should never replace human teachers.
“In practice, ‘ACE in AI’ means putting a humanistic view of teaching at the center of what you do,” it said. “ACE makes it easy for the Department to say ‘no’ when asked if AI will replace teachers.”