Artificial Intelligence in Education and Work

The Birkbeck Knowledge Lab is centered at the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck College. Birkbeck is part of the University of London. It is London’s only specialist provider of higher education degrees through evening study, with the mission of meeting the lifelong learning needs of working Londoners. The Birkbeck Knowledge Lab (BKL) is an interdisciplinary research centre undertaking research into how digital technologies can transform the possibilities and realities of learning, knowing, working and communicating. The creation, discovery and sharing of knowledge is undergoing a radical shift through the global-scale generation of information on the Internet, and the increasing prevalence of mobile, embedded and wearable technologies. Research at the BKL draws on multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies from across the Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts to investigate how digital technologies and digital information are transforming our learning, working and cultural lives.

We collaborate with researchers, educationalists, schools, museums, businesses, and other public and private organisations nationally and internationally. Our research focus aligns with Birkbeck’s unique and longstanding mission to empower learners from diverse backgrounds to participate fully in higher education and in work by promoting equality of opportunity, social inclusion and a lively environment of enquiry and scientific discourse. This session will begin with an introduction to Birkbeck and the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab. There will then be a presentation on „Designing Interactive Intelligent Systems for Learning and Teaching“, followed by a live discussion. The session will continue with a talk entitled „Training the AI“ which will present ongoing work at Birkbeck in designing data science degree courses that target digital skills needs, as well as presenting research undertaken at the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab where AI has been applied to assist the work of Digital Humanities scholars. This presentation too will be followed by a live discussion. The session will conclude with a brief round-up and conclusions.

Session host and moderation:

Professor George Magoulas, Co-Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

Format:

  • Presentations including videos and demonstrations

  • Discussions with presenters, including questions from the audience

  • Questions from remote viewers are welcome and were taken by email to put to the presenters during the session. For any further questions you may have after the end of our session, please email directly one of the presenters.

Main topics:

  • Welcome – Introduction to Birkbeck and the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

    Professor Alex Poulovassilis, Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

    This brief talk will introduce Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, and the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab. The talk will explain Birkbeck’s mission as London’s only specialist provider of higher education degrees through evening study, aiming to meet the lifelong learning needs of working Londoners. The talk will then introduce the work of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, an interdisciplinary research centre whose aim is to undertake research into how digital technologies can transform the possibilities and realities of learning, knowing, working and communicating.

    Introduction to Birkbeck and its unique educational mission, and to the research of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, for the Virtual World Tour participants

  • Discussion on AI in Learning and Teaching – Designing Interactive Intelligent Systems for Learning and Teaching

    Professor George Magoulas, Co-Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab; Kontantinos Karoudis, researcher at the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

    The talk will give an overview of our work on the design and development of intelligent components for interactive learning environments. Intelligent components allow learning environments to seamlessly combine explicit knowledge representation with learning and adaptation capabilities. At the same time they can handle uncertainty, which is inherent in human-machine interaction, in order to personalise the user experience. Using examples from various Knowledge Lab projects, we will illustrate a synergistic approach that combines data-driven design, AI and pedagogy theory to develop intelligent components for learner modelling, learning design and planning of lifelong learning.

    Discussion of research, architectural and design challenges of intelligent learning technologies. Illustration with implemented systems. Analysis of lessons learned and future challenges.

  • Presentation on AI in Work – Designing educational programmes in AI and putting AI research to work

    Professor Mark Levene, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck; and Dr Martyn Harris, Manager of the Institute of Coding at Birkbeck.

    The talk will present ongoing work at Birkbeck in designing data science degree courses that target the digital skills needs of those working in business and industry. The talk discusses Birkbeck’s contribution to the newly established Institute of Coding, a government initiative led by universities and employers to address the digital skills gap among computer science graduates. One of the goals of the Institute of Coding is to make the UK a leading hub for AI applications and practice, which also aligns with much of the research and teaching expertise in our department. The talk will conclude with examples of research undertaken at the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab where AI has been applied to assist the work of Digital Humanities scholars. This includes the use of machine learning techniques for automated text annotation of digital archives, and exploring 3D content stored in digital archives through a holographic search interface using voice recognition.

    Discussion of challenges of designing educational programmes that meet the needs of workers and employers, and of the application of AI in the Digitial Humanities sector. Illustration with case studies and implemented systems. Analysis of lessons learned and future challenges.

    Discussion on AI in Work

    Professor Mark Levene, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck; and Dr Martyn Harris, Manager of the Institute of Coding at Birkbeck.

Key message:

An important success factor for the design of tomorrow’s working world is effective collaboration between the designers and the users of digital technologies, so as to empower lifelong, life-wide learning and professional development.

Speakers / Panelists:

Professor George Magoulas, Co-Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

Kontantinos Karoudis, researcher at the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab

Professor Mark Levene, Head of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck

Dr Martyn Harris, Manager of the Institute of Coding at Birkbeck