The International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education entitled "Planning Education in the AI Era: Lead the leap" opened in Beijing, China on 16 May 2019. The gathering is convening over 300 participants from 105 Member States, with 67 Ministers, Deputy/Vice Ministers and government officials present to discuss the implementation of AI strategies for education.
The Conference provides a unique platform for international organizations, government ministers, Member States and civil society to come together on this defining topic of our time.
The event was opened by the Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China, Hon. Ms Sun Chunlan, as well as Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.
The Minister of Education, Hon Mr Chen Baosheng and the Mayor of Beijing Municipal People's Government, Mr Chen Jining, also attended the event.
The agenda includes a high-level Ministers' Forum that will shed light on the impact of AI on education and learning, and the AI policies and strategies needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4. The five plenary sessions and three breakout sessions will address topics crucial to ensuring the sustainable development of AI strategies for education.
These topics include exploring the future of life and work in the AI era, where a system-wide response to automation will be discussed as well as the necessities of new skill-sets to work alongside AI.
The Conference will take the opportunity to address the opportunities that come with shaping the AI era to bridge divides and ensure no one is left behind, by emphasizing on UNESCO's values of equitable, inclusive and transparent use of AI in education.
For these debates to be impactful, and for implementation to occur at a system-wide level, this Conference will also convene on the importance of international cooperation between stakeholders.
The impact of this conference is expected to be far-reaching; a Consensus on AI and Education will be developed and expected to be adopted by UNESCO's Member States, giving UNESCO and attendees concrete next steps for action. Contributing to this document will be leaders in AI industry, academia and public policy, as well as representatives from UN agencies and participating in the UNESCO Member States.
A synthesis report will also document the outcomes of this anticipated Conference.
The advancement of the UN Education 2030 agenda is the cornerstone of this Conference. There will be much at stake in the next few days to come together and address these key issues, for UNESCO and governments around the world to ensure a sustainable future for all in the AI era.