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BKL takes part in 24-hour virtual world tour on the future of work

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BKL researchers participated on 4th December in a Virtual World Tour on the Future of Work, as one of twelve globally distributed research institutions presenting their work via livestreaming. The topic of our 2-hour session was Artificial Intelligence in Education and Work.

The presenters were George Magoulas, Co-Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab; Kontantinos Karoudis, BKL researcher; Mark Levene, Head of Birkbeck’s Department of Computer Science & Information Systems; and Martyn Harris, Manager of the Institute of Coding at Birkbeck.  After a brief Introduction to Birkbeck and the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab by BKL Director, Alex Poulovassilis, there followed two video presentations:

The first presentation was on AI in Learning and Teaching. George Magoulas began by introducing the challenges involved in providing personalised intelligent support to learners during online learning tasks and possible technology approaches.  He then talked about the challenges of supporting teachers in creating and sharing learning designs and the role of ontological modelling in capturing the learning designs being created by a community of teachers. Konstantinos Karoudis concluded this first presentation by proposing a new pedagogy-driven framework for supporting personalised lifelong learning, spanning formal and informal learning, both online and offline. Learner modelling is at core of the framework, and he proposed the use of the Experience API and distributed ledger technology to implement the framework.

The second presentation was on Putting AI to Work. Mark Levene began by introducing research in the department in AI, focussing particularly on work in data science and knowledge representation. He moved on to introduce the new courses in Data Science available at Birkbeck, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  Martyn Harris continued with a discussion of the aims of the new Institute of Coding and Birkbeck's role in delivering blended learning courses to meet the evolving digital skills needs of workers and more broadly the general public. He moved on to showcase research in two BKL projects aiming to support the work of Digital Humanities scholars: the SAMTLA API which can be used for tagging and searching digital archives; and the SAMTLA holographic user interface which allows access to digital archives through speech and gestures.

Both presentations were followed by a lively discussion session taking questions from the audience and covering the curricular, technical, ethical and diversity concerns of AI’s role in education and work.

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