This synthesis report has been developed by the UNESCO Unit for Technology and Artificial Intelligence in Education within the Future of Learning and Innovation Team, drawing on the International Forum on AI and the Futures of Education held in Beijing and simultaneously online from 7 to 8 December 2020.
The Forum underlined the importance of reviewing the very purpose of education, together with the opportunity for real transformation, and the role that AI might play. It is widely acknowledged that current educational practices and educational environment are very rigid, and that the future of education should be more flexible and responsive to changing circumstances and innovation. National education authorities should identify what skills young people need to enable them to live and thrive in the new realities of a constantly changing world, and what digital transformation makes possible in the national and international context. In short, new education models are needed to put students at the centre, to move away from a focus on memorizing content, to integrate the digital and the analogue, and to foster human cognitive, socioemotional and critical skills, all of which might – with foresight and careful attention – be enabled by AI and other digital technologies.