AIUSE - a Thinking Classroom AI Policy Structure

AI brings both opportunities and challenges.

It's moving fast. AI policies (where they exist) have review dates 3 months hence, not 12.

To navigate this rapid evolution, we need well-defined, flexible and dynamic AI policies. I've made (without AI) a framework to do just that, AIUSE, which includes five critical themes - pillars - for constructing a robust foundation.

Alignment: With Values, Teaching, and Learning

Alignment is the first pillar of a solid AI policy. It encompasses ensuring that AI tools and their uses align with our core values, ethics, and school norms. Here are the three aspects within this theme:

  • Alignment with Values: AI  should be used in ways that respect and reflect the values and principles of an organization. This involves considering ethical implications and potential harm, and striving to maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks.
  • Alignment with Teaching: AI policy should encourage and facilitate education about AI and about using AI. It's vital to ensure that stakeholders understand the technology and its implications. This helps in making informed decisions and avoiding undue fear or over-optimism.
  • Alignment with Learning: AI choices and tools should be designed to augment existing core pedagogy. How we do this should be open to continuous improvement while adhering to ethical standards. The policy should mandate regular reviews and updates to keep pace with advancements in AI technology.

Inclusion: Access, Diversity, and Mindset

The second pillar, Inclusion, is all about making AI accessible to everyone and promoting diversity and the right mindset:

  • Access: The policy should promote equal access to AI technology. This includes addressing issues of affordability, ensuring that AI benefits are not restricted to specific socio-economic groups, and making sure no one is left behind.
  • Diversity: Encouraging diversity in AI choice and use is crucial. This involves supporting the inclusion of the nine protected characteristics, in AI choice, use and decision-making.
  • Mindset: Fostering a smart trust mindset around AI is essential. The policy should emphasize the importance of open mindedness, analysis and evidence within a framework of ethical principles.

Understanding: Of What AI Is, Isn't, and Can Be

A well-informed understanding of AI is the bedrock of any successful AI policy. The third theme revolves around achieving a clear comprehension of AI:

  • Of What AI Is: The policy should define what AI is, its various subfields, and its capabilities. This ensures that everyone involved has a common understanding of the technology.
  • Of What AI Isn't: Equally important is understanding what AI is not. This includes dispelling misconceptions and differentiating between AI and human intelligence.
  • Of What AI Can Be: The policy must outline the potential applications and limitations of AI, guiding responsible and ethical usage.

Safety: Intellectual, Emotional, and Psychological

Safety is another pivotal aspect in AI policy, encompassing different dimensions:

  • Intellectual Safety: This means protecting intellectual property, ensuring that AI innovations and outputs are used responsibly, and legally.
  • Emotional Safety: AI  must be used with emotional safety in mind. This includes avoiding content that may harm users emotionally, such as hate speech, harassment, or inappropriate content.
  • Psychological Safety: The policy should address the psychological well-being of users, emphasizing the need to avoid addictive or harmful AI applications and encouraging the choice of and direction towards supportive and beneficial tools.

Ethics: Anchoring Principle and Sub-Principles

The final pillar, Ethics, forms the moral foundation of an AI policy:

  • Anchoring Principle: The policy should be anchored by a core ethical principle, such as 'do no harm' or 'fairness,' or 'enhances teaching and learning' which guides all AI-related decisions.
  • Sub-Principles: Under the overarching ethical principle, sub-principles should be established to address specific ethical considerations, such as privacy, transparency, accountability, and fairness.

Crafting a comprehensive AI policy is crucial for schools. Whether we embrace AI or turn away from it personally, we have a duty professionally to our children to inform and educate them about its power, potential, risks and reward.

The Thinking Classroom AIUSE framework, encompassing Alignment, Inclusion, Understanding, Safety, and Ethics, provides a clear structure to address the fast changing aspects of AI. By incorporating these themes into AI policy development, we can ensure that AI technologies continue to enhance teaching while upholding school values and raising standards of learning.

(AIUSE concept by Mike/Text part generated by ChatGPT. estimated time saved 30 minutes)