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Framework for generative AI in schools released

The Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools released last Friday outlines what best practice is when it comes to using generative artificial intelligence (AI) in schools in relation to a number of areas.

In February, education ministers agreed that regulating AI in education was a national priority as teachers continued to have to deal with students using generative AI services, such as ChatGPT, that are not aligned to their learning curriculum.

The Framework aims to support better education outcomes and ethical practices in schools through six principles and 25 guiding statements.

Ite also hopes to rid schools of bullying or discrimination caused by AI, and to stop students using the technology to cheat on exams and assessments.

The principles are:

  1. Teaching and learning: Generative AI tools are used to support and enhance teaching and learning
  2. Human and social wellbeing: Generative AI tools are used to benefit all members of the school community
  3. Transparency: School communities understand how generative AI tools work, how they can be used, and when and how these tools are impacting them
  4. Fairness: Generative AI tools are used in ways that are accessible, fair, and respectful
  5. Accountability: Generative AI tools are used in ways that are open to challenge and retain human agency and accountability for decisions
  6. Privacy, security and safety: Students and others using generative AI tools have their privacy and data protected.

Each guiding statement explains how principles can be achieved. For example, a guiding statement for strategy one is: 'schools [should] engage students in learning about generative AI tools and how they work, including their potential limitations and biases, and deepen this learning as student usage increases'.

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said the Framework outlines when generative AI should and shouldn't be used, especially in terms of student privacy.

"This Framework will help guide all school communities so they can enjoy the potential benefits to teaching and learning that generative AI offers, while mitigating the risks," the minister said.

"Importantly, the Framework highlights that schools should not use generative AI products that sell student data.

"If we get this right, generative AI can help personalise education and make learning more compelling and effective, and this Framework will help teachers and school communities maximise the potential of this new technology."

The Framework was ultimately developed by the National AI in Schools Taskforce, with input from unions, teachers, students, academics, parents and school representative bodies.

It will be implemented in term one in 2024 and will be reviewed every 12 months by education ministers, or more often if necessary.

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