Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Artificial Intelligence for Open Universities in Asia: Lessons from Robert Moses' Low Parkway Bridges

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

At last November's ICDE conference, writes Junhong Xiao, "the president of an open university (OU) outlined the ambition of building a global digital university in his keynote speech." But is this the right ambition? Xiao makes the comparison with the parkway bridges built extra-low "to keep buses from the city away from Jones Beach – buses presumably filled with the poor blacks and Puerto Ricans Moses despised." In the same way, "if improperly or blindly adopted, AI can turn discriminatory and, in the case of OU education in Asia, may lead to more harm than good." AI is expensive. The cost of deploying AI may create a barrier against lower income institutions and students. He has a point. I have zero interest in AI - or any educational technology - if all it does is help the already-advantaged. Quality, to my mind, is meaningless without access.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 23, 2024 09:57 a.m.

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