|Artificial intelligence (AI)||The ability of machines to mimic human capabilities in a way that we would consider 'smart'.|
|Machine Learning||An application of AI and a process we give the machine lots of examples of data, demonstrating what we would like it to do so that it can figure out how to achieve a goal on its own. The machine learns and adapts its strategy to achieve this goal.|
|Ethical issue||A situation where there are competing alternatives and the right thing to do is not obvious or clear. Sometimes terms such as good, bad, wrong, better or worse are used to consider the effect of particular actions on our lives, society, nature and the environment.|
|Ethical behaviour||Acting according to accepted standards of conduct|
Print out sufficient copies of the worksheets in the Resources section.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of machines to mimic human capabilities in a way that people would consider 'smart'. Machine Learning (ML) is an application of AI. With ML, the machine is given many examples of data, demonstrating what people would like the machine to do so that it can figure out how to achieve a goal on its own. The machine learns and adapts its strategy to achieve this goal.
The lifecycle of an AI application includes stages that incorporate development and deployment based around ethical considerations. A typical lifecycle may include the following key stages:
An AI application makes decisions purely on the basis of its training and its input data. How could an AI become aware of ethical-decision making? Possible avenues of exploration are:
There are four parts to this lesson and Parts 1 and 2 are common for Years 5 and 6 and Years 7 and 8 students. Parts 3 and 4 have slightly differently requirements for each of the bands. In summary, the lesson involves students:
Increased proficiency in both analysing how existing AI systems meet needs, affect people, and change society and the world, and in predicting the effects of future systems.
Development of ethical understanding through analysis of AI systems and related questioning about their lifecycle. These ethical understandings include:
Understanding ethical concepts and issues
Students learn to recognise ethical concepts and explore ethical issues in context. They identify, examine and give examples of ethical concepts. They discuss, analyse and explore dimensions of ethical concepts in context.
Reason and make ethical decisions
Students consider the consequences of and reflect on ethical action. They analyse the reasoning behind stances when making ethical decisions and evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of actions in an increasing range of scenarios.
Students use instances of expressed values to explain social interactions and to determine rights and responsibilities in social and legal domains. They recognise and interpret points of view in ethical contexts.
Adapt this learning map to suit your student’s needs. For example for students at Year 6, a learning map might look like:
|By the end of this lesson students will:||Mindset||Skillset||Toolset|
Develop an understanding of information systems that include an AI application.
Explain how AI systems can impact on society both positively and negatively.
Apply ethical understanding as they respond to examples of AI systems.
|Analytical, Reflective, Curious||Collaborating, Clarifying||
Scenarios describing AI applications supported by media (video and/or online articles)
Flow chart to support ethical analysis
Worksheet to record ideas
Ask students to think about the potential for using AI and who in society (or what in the environment) might benefit from its implementation.
Explain that as with any technology there may be risks and/or injustices associated with its use.
View the video AI: Impact on Society, which provides an introduction to ML and raises possible risks associated with this powerful technology.
Briefly introduce the following AI scenarios:
Invite students to select an AI of interest to investigate the benefits, risks and possible impacts of the technologies.
Provide printed worksheets for each scenario or provide digitally to enable student to view online resources.
Some students may need guidance to view suggested videos and discuss these applications.
Prompt students to think about the criteria they could use to help make informed assessments about the benefits and negative consequences of the AI application in their chosen scenario. They should be encouraged to have more to say than simply a consequence is good or bad—they should be considering the relevant ethical values.
Ask students to refer to the AI application they have chosen to evaluate. Provide students with the relevant flow chart to assist and guide them to analyse the AI application.
Two flow charts are provided to support and guide students as they consider questions that draw on ethical understanding. Select the appropriate flowchart to present to your class:
Discuss each question on the flow chart with the aim of providing and eliciting related concrete examples. Elaborate as necessary to ensure student understanding. You can relate these questions back to a scenario already discussed or make the discussion more general in nature.
Provide students with the Analysis worksheet Ethical considerations. Select the relevant version for your students:
Students will complete the worksheet by selecting and analysing their selected AI application.
Students respond to the key prompts, drawing on the questions posed in their flow chart.
At the completion of the task, have students share what they have identified as positive and negative consequences of the AI application as well as their suggestions for how the issues may be addressed and avoided/mitigated.