Relatore: Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta, University College London
Titolo: Challenges and opportunities of AI for education (provvisorio)
Abstract: Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) growing and often invisible application in mainstream contexts increasingly challenges us to make important decisions about whether and how exactly we can build and utilise AI for the benefit of societal progress and wellbeing.  Questions related to ethical dimensions of AI have recently entered into cross-sector and policy agendas, for example, interrogating how we can safeguard against the dangers of AI and prepare ourselves for the changes that it brings to our development, learning, and daily functioning.  These questions should have profound implications for how we design and deploy AI, how we educate people about AI, and what research we prioritise in this context.  However, paradoxically, given the focus on the need for equipping new generations with skills fit for the 21st century, insights from AI in the learning sciences research seldom infiltrate those discussions, the design of mainstream AI applications or the human-centred practices in which AI is employed.  We are still profoundly and fundamentally ignorant about how AI, as a technology that explicitly aims to interact with or even to replace human decision-making, impacts (for better or for worse) human cognitive and emotional functioning. This ignorance is further exacerbated by our lack of definitional clarity about what we actually mean by AI.  In this talk, I will examine the opportunities as well as challenges offered by AI for education, situating them in the broader debates about AI and its place in human societal systems. In doing so, I will emphasise the critical role of the human-centred perspective that resides at heart of the learning sciences to the design of responsible AI that acts in service of human learning, development and healthy functioning.
Biografia: Dr Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta is a Reader [Associate Professor] in Adaptive Technologies for Learning at the University College London, Knowledge Lab. Her research focuses on Artificial Intelligence in Education, with the specific emphasis on developing adaptive interactive environments for learning. She has over 20 years of experience in working with different learners, including with children and adults with and without special needs, and of developing AI systems for front line education.  After completing her PhD in computational linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, she transitioned fully into AI in Education research and focused on modelling emotions in learning interactions, knowledge elicitation and knowledge engineering methodologies, and AI for social inclusion. She has been a principal investigator as well as co-investigator of a number of large interdisciplinary grants focusing on the application of AI to a variety of formal and informal educational contexts in the UK, the EU, India and the Philippines. Kaśka is an active participant in the recent debates and a contributor to evidence for parliamentary hearings on the role of Artificial Intelligence in human development and learning. In this she seeks to help harness AI for human benefit. She is Head of Research for the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at the UCL Institute of Education, member of the management committee for the Bloomsbury Centre for Educational Neuroscience, the steering committee for the UCL Institute of Digital Health, and of the Executive Board for the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education.

Relatori: Carl Bereiter e Marlene Scardamalia , University of
Titolo: Will Knowledge Building Remain Uniquely Human?
Abstract: Knowledge Building seeks to democratize creative work with knowledge and ideas and make it a more pervasive part of personal and social life. Despite mounting evidence of problem solving and improvisation in nonhuman species, creative work with ideas has seemed to be uniquely human. This uniqueness, however, is being challenged by recent advances in AI—most directly by Google’s AlphGo, which has established superiority over the world’s greatest Go players. The most remarkable thing about AlphaGo in comparison to other champion-beating game-playing programs is that it developed novel strategies that human players could learn and use. A new version of AlphaGo teaches people what AlphaGo knows. Generating novel strategies that you can teach to others should count as knowledge creation by any reasonable standard. Collaborating rather than competing with machine intelligence is the new watchword. In education, this implies artificial intelligence being used by students rather than being used on students—hence, using AI in Knowledge Building. It also means bringing to student-machine interaction the distinctive assets that arise from humans being social creatures living multifarious lives—assets such as commonsense knowledge, social intelligence, and ability to grasp problem situations. Uniquely human qualities become more important than uniquely human abilities.
Carl Bereiter is a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for
Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and a co-founder with Marlene Scardamalia of the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology (IKIT). He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education and has been twice a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Along with Marlene Scardamalia, he developed CSILE, the first networked system for collaborative learning. He has published widely on a variety of topics in instruction, cognitive psychology, and educational policy. Publications include “Theory Building and Education for
Understanding,” in the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2017 and “Principled Knowledge: Not a Bridge but a Ladder in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2014 and, with Scardamalia, “Self-organization in Conceptual Growth: Practical implications,” in the International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change (2nd ed), 2013.
Professor Marlene Scardamalia holds the Presidents’ Chair in Education
and Knowledge Technologies at OISE/University of Toronto and directs IKIT, the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology—a worldwide network of innovators working to advance the frontiers of knowledge building in various sectors.  Marlene’s work has led to numerous honours and awards, for example, the World Award of Education from the World Cultural Council; the institute she founded with Carl Bereiter received the ORION Learning Award for the development of the world’s first collaborative learning environment and for leadership in research-based innovations in theory, pedagogy, and technology, all aimed at making citizens part of a 21st-century knowledge-creating culture. Her extensive research into how knowledge can be built within a community through interconnected, intentional, and collective efforts of participants invites us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic for learners from early childhood through to tertiary education.

Relatore: Alessio Paolo Buccino, University of Oslo.
Titolo: Machine learning in plain italian, how it works?
Abstract: L’Intelligenza Artificiale è oramai divenuta un’inconsapevole ubiquitaria presenza nelle nostre vite. Non si è prodotta seguendo le distopiche suggestioni di molta fantascienza, ma attraverso la diffusione di specifici algoritmi che pervadono i processi digitali presenti nella nostra quotidianità e che consentono di pensare alle “macchine” come ad entità di grado di “apprendere” secondo processi in qualche modo autodeterminati. L’intervento cercherà di mettere in luce le specificità di questi algoritmi facendo riferimento alle più note applicazioni, dal riconoscimento delle immagini alla guida autonoma delle automobili.
Biografia: Dopo aver conseguito una laurea in Ingegneria biomedica al Politecnico di Milano e un master in Tecnologie elettroniche nello stesso Ateneo, ha conseguito un master in Computer Science all’Università di Houston, Texas. Attualmente svolge il dottorato nell’ambito delle Brain Computer Interfaces, condotto congiuntamente dall’Università di Oslo e dall’Università della California – San Diego. Nella sua ricerca utilizza approcci computazionali per migliorare le tecniche di elettrofisiologia neurale.

Relatore: Domenico Parisi, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR.
Titolo: Ambienti digitali.
Abstract: Gli Ambienti Digitali sono simulazioni al computer di un qualche aspetto della realtà dotate di una interfaccia che permette a chiunque di capire quell’aspetto della realtà. L’utente non si limita a interagire con quello che vede sullo schermo, come avviene nella realtà virtuale e nei videogiochi, ma interagisce con la simulazione che sta dietro a quello che vede sullo schermo, manipolando i fattori in gioco e osservando gli effetti delle sue manipolazioni. L’interfaccia utente degli Ambienti Digitali non è verbale e quindi l’Ambiente Digitale può essere usato da chiunque indipendentemente dalla lingua che parla, è altamente motivante e anche divertente, e propone sfide all’utente o tra diversi utenti, dovunque vivano nel mondo. Gli Ambienti Digitali sono disponibili su Internet e possono riguardare aspetti della realtà che sono oggetto delle materie di insegnamento scolastico ma anche aspetti ignorati dall’insegnamento scolastico ma che oggi gli esseri umani debbono conoscere e capire per vivere bene nel mondo in cui vivono.
Biografia: Lavoro all’Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione del CNR e costruisco robot. I miei robot non vogliono avere applicazioni pratiche ma vogliono essere gli strumenti di una nuova scienza degli esseri umani e delle loro società basata su questo principio: “Se vuoi capire gli esseri umani, costruisci robot che fanno tutto quello che fanno gli esseri umani”. C’è però un’applicazione pratica dei robot che mi interessa: usarli per aiutare gli esseri umani a capire meglio e a cercare di risolvere i difficili problemi che devono affrontare oggi e che dovranno affrontare in futuro.

Relatori: Rhonda Christensen e Gerald Knezek, University of North Texas:
Titolo: Navigating Life in a Digital World: Challenges for Current and Future Generations
Abstract: Constant and perpetual advancements in internet-based communication have supported the development of global communities of scholars examining affordances of technology on an unprecedented world-wide scale. Nevertheless, today’s scholars are typically Baby-Boomers or Gen X while 21st Century Learners span a much wider range from pre Baby- Boomers to post-Gen Z. The generation gap appears to be expanding as students are navigating in a digital world that is constantly evolving. The new normal is a 5th grader immersed in something with his or her nose close to a screen – that to grandparents might as well be Merlin’s magic wand.
Schools seek to harness the home-school connection for enhanced learning opportunities even as parents are often unaware that the children can invite a large portion of the world into their home through the same portal. Concerns about internet addiction abound. We must plan carefully to capitalize on the promises of advanced learning technologies while also being aware of the looming pitfalls. We see a future where the outlook is bright for the wisdom of the older generation to be blended with the new windows to the world of newer generations, for the benefit of all.
Rhonda Christensen, Ph.D. is Research Professor in the Learning Technologies Department in the College of Information at the University of North Texas, USA. She is a co-director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning at UNT and a Co-PI and Project Director for the Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (MSOSW) project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technologies Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Science Education Consortium funded project. She serves as the Chair of the IT Council for the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE). She is a Fulbright Senior Scholar recipient working in the Netherlands on a research teaching assignment. Dr. Christensen has participated as a leader and participant in four of the international EDUSummIT meetings focused on ICT in education.
Dr. Christensen has co-authored and taught a pre-service technology integration course for more than 15 years. She also teaches doctoral courses on research design and analysis. She has more than 50 journal article publications, greater than 200 national and international conference presentations, more than 20 book chapter publications, and edited or authored more than 10 books. Her research interests are the impact of technology integration in education, enhancing STEM education in middle schools and mobile learning in education.
Dr. Christensen received her Bachelors’ of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A & M University, her Masters’ of Science in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems and her Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas.
Gerald Knezek, Ph.D. is Regents Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas, USA. He is Director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching & Learning (IITTL) at UNT and Past President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE). He is a Founder of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL SIG).
Dr. Knezek’s research interests include measuring attitudes and dispositions toward information technology, developing and testing formal models of technology integration, developing practical research designs, and refining scaling methods and techniques. He has been Lead or Co-Principal Investigator for several research projects funded over the past two decades by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Department of Education, and the Gates Foundation over the past two decades. These include NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, NASA STEM Innovations, a U.S. Fund for Improvement for Post-Secondary Education project and NSF Research in Disabilities grant featuring the placement of virtual students with disabilities in dynamic, online simulator for teachers.
Dr. Knezek was doctoral program coordinator for Educational Computing from 2002-2004 and Learning Technologies Program Coordinator from 2014-2016. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Japan’s National Center for University Entrance Examinations during 1993-94 and shared time between Texas and Ecuador on a Fulbright Senior Specialist appointment during 2006-07. He received a third Fulbright award as Senior Specialist to the Netherlands in 2012-13. Dr. Knezek received his B.A. in Mathematics and Social Sciences from Dartmouth College, and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii.

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