The Institute for Ethical AI in

The institute’s response to The Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ published by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG).

The Institute for ethical artificial intelligence and education welcomes ‘The Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ published by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG).

We agree with the seven key requirements that AI systems should meet in order to be trustworthy proposed in these guidelines. In particular, we applaud the way in which these guidelines have been designed to be applicable to the wide range of stakeholders involved in artificial intelligence: specifically, developers, deployers and end-users, as well as the broader society. We agree that “developers should implement and apply the requirements to design and development processes”, that “deployers should ensure that the systems they use and the products and services they offer meet the requirements” and that “end-users and the broader society should be informed about these requirements and able to request that they are upheld.” All requirements are recognised as being of equal importance, and the interrelations between all seven are noted.  

However, there are two key challenges specific to education that are not sufficiently recognised within these guidelines.

Firstly, those deploying artificially intelligent systems within education and training settings rarely have sufficient understanding of the technology to be able to ensure that the systems that are being used meet the requirements laid out here for trustworthy AI.

Secondly, there is an enormous and critically underestimated assumption in the statement within principle 1 about Human Agency and Oversight that “users should be able to make informed autonomous decisions regarding AI systems. They should be given the knowledge and tools to comprehend and interact with AI systems to a satisfactory degree and, where possible, be enabled to reasonably self-assess or challenge the system.” This is an admirable statement, but the magnitude of the task of enabling everyone with this knowledge and these tools must not be underestimated. It will take a concerted effort and significant investment in education systems across the world if we are to even scratch the surface of providing people with “the knowledge and tools to comprehend and interact with AI” so that they benefit from these technologies and that they suffer no harm.



The IEAIED will work to develop frameworks and mechanisms to help ensure that the use of AI across education is designed and deployed ethically. Our strategic ambition is to enable the UK to be a world leader in ethical AI for education. We aim to do this by engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a code of practice that protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged and maximises the benefits of AI across society.


To maximise the benefit that AI could bring to education, we must ensure that AI technologies, practices and proponents are aligned with the moral values and ethical principles of a ‘Good AI Society’ (Floridi, 2018). Ethics must be ‘designed in’ to every aspect of AI in education and training from the inception of an idea for an AI product or service to the scaled adoption of that AI within society. Educational institutions and practitioners are responsible for the pedagogical, emotional, physical and moral wellbeing of their students, and employees, and the ethical context of these responsibilities with respect to the fast approaching AI revolution needs much more careful attention.

The IEAIED will identify the assumptions about human behaviour and intelligence that underlie current AI development and innovation. We will consider how social values are currently embedded and manifested in AI design. How ethical frameworks can in future be grounded on responsible innovation in all applications of educational AI. We will also examine how AI in education avoids prioritising undesirable aspects of learning at the expense of other beneficial aspects, which could fundamentally distort the process of learning, and human development.

What will the Institute for Ethical AI in Education do?

We will study best practice in the world today drawing on the work of education institutions, governments, philosophers, the UN and other relevant bodies.

  • Identify the existing forms of governance, ethical principles, guidelines, standards and regulations relevant to ethical AI in education.
  • Produce a framework for ethical governance for AI in Education for the UK.
  • Produce a roadmap for the development of inclusive, responsible, explainable, interpretable, verifiable and agile ethical governance for AI in Education that will protect people from disadvantage, ill, harm.
  • Build public knowledge and appropriately critical trust in AI in education through public engagement.
  • Demand more from our large technology companies in terms of ethical practice and ethical education and training for educators, trainers, parents and students.
  • Demand support for our Start-up and SME technology community to ensure their ethical practice.
  • Demand ethics training for everyone involved in education or training directly or indirectly.
  • Ensure that ethical AI in education minimises extra burdens to educators, learners, and parents beyond their needing to understand what is required for them to protect themselves, their students, their employees, or their family from.
  • Publish an ethical code of conduct for those working to develop and use AI for educational and training purposes.
  • Provide ethical training and approval protocols for anyone developing or using AI in education and training to encourage ethical transparency and publicly ethical practice.

Why is the Institute for Ethical AI in Education needed?

We believe with Stephen Hawking, 2018, that AI in general is going to be either the best thing for humanity or the worst thing that has ever happened. We believe we are putting insufficient thought and effort into the ethical applications of AI in general. This is particularly the case in education where remarkably little thought has been put in by government, parliament, universities, schools and educational bodies. The running has been made by the technology companies, for whom ethical and broader societal implications are less important than the bottom line.


The IEAIED will meet and study evidence, producing an interim report in December 2019 and its final report in 2020.


Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham since 2015, is one of Britain’s leading contemporary historians, educationalists, commentators and political authors. He was a transformative head for 20 years, first of Brighton College and then Wellington College. He is author or editor of over 35 books on contemporary history, including The Fourth Education Revolution, which looks at the impact of Ai on education. He’s written books on the last four Prime Ministers, was the co-founder and first director of the Institute for Contemporary British History, is co-founder of Action for Happiness, honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street, UK Special Representative for Saudi Education, a member of the Government’s First World War Culture Committee, was chair of the Comment Awards, is a director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the President of IPEN, (International Positive Education Network), Chair of the National Archives Trust, is patron or on the board of several charities, founder of the Via Sacra Western Front Walk, and was executive producer of the film Journey’s End. He appeared on the Desert Island Discs in 2016. For the last fifteen years he has given all his money from writing and lecturing to charity.

Priya Lakhani is the Founder and CEO of CENTURY Tech. The company launched in October 2015 and CENTURY- the learning platform powered by artificial intelligence- has been available to schools globally from September 2016. CENTURY provides all its students with a completely personalised learning experience, and offers real-time insights and analytics to teachers.
Priya started her career as a barrister, specialising in libel, privacy and reporting restrictions for the press including representing a newspaper in the House of Lords at the age of 25. In 2008, Priya successfully launched a FMCG business and launched products into nationwide supermarket chains and independent retailers. Passionate about CSR and incorporating a ONE=ONE model, the company’s charitable arm provided millions of meals and 35,000 vaccinations to the underprivileged.
Priya has been a member of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Entrepreneurs’ Forum, an advisory board member to several educational/skills organisations, including being a founding entrepreneur of Gazelle Group Colleges. Priya also authored childrens’ book, Zarin’s Perfect World, which was published in 2014. And she was awarded Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Chancellor in 2009, and Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2014. Priya now also presents on BBC World News as a commentator on world news, politics, business and technology on a bi-monthly basis.

Rose Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab in London. Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from Artificial Intelligence (AI). She has a particular interest in using AI to open up the ‘black box’ of learning to show teachers and students the detail of their progress intellectually, emotionally and socially.

Rose is also Director of EDUCATE: a London hub for Educational Technology StartUps, researchers and educators to work together on the development of evidence-informed Educational Technology. Rose has published numerous academic articles in journals and has authored 2 monographs and 2 edited collections. She is also lead author of Nesta’s influential ‘Decoding Learning’ report published in 2012 and Pearson’s Unleashing Intelligence, published in 2016.

Rose holds an International Franqui Chair at KU Leuven and was named on the Seldon List 2017, as one of the 20 most influential people in Education. She is a UFI charity trustee, a governor and trustee of St Paul’s school in London, a governor of the Self-Managed Learning College in Brighton and a member of the Cambridge University Press Syndicate (ELT & Education Publishing Committee). She has taught in the state secondary, Further Education and Higher Education sectors, and she was previously Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sussex.

Advisory Committee

Close Menu