Friday, 19 April 2019

AI talk was a real education

Anthony Seldon
Henley Town Hall

RIGHT from the start of his talk, Anthony Seldon was keen to stress the vital importance of his topic — how artificial intelligence is likely to influence the delivery of education in the future, as explored in his recent book, The Fourth Education Revolution.

He feels it’s a technological development that, however we might feel about it, we are foolish to ignore.

His underlying argument is that, used well, artificial intelligence can free up teachers to concentrate on developing pupils’ wider strengths — in fields such as art and sport, for example — and to look after pupils’ wellbeing.

Seldon’s hands-on experience in schools and universities puts him in a good position to put forward such a vision.

However, he remains ambivalent about the lurking risks of artificial intelligence if not used wisely — he recognises that AI can destroy our ability to reason for ourselves.

Anthony Seldon is a wise and very witty speaker. His fluent and thought-provoking talk included a whistlestop recap of the history of education and an incisive exploration into the nature of intelligence itself.

There was a capacity audience in the town hall and he held them rapt. The thoughtful Q&A session at the end demonstrated the extent to which he had engaged his audience.

Susan Creed

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