Inquiry into the use of generative artificial intelligence in the Australian education system

5 Feb 2024

Professor Shazia Sadiq appeared as an expert witness to the parliamentary inquiry on generative AI in Australia’s education system.

In the parliamentary hearing, Professor Shazia Sadiq, a computer science professor at the University of Queensland and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, along with Ms. Kylie Walker, CEO of the same academy, provided insights on the integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in the Australian education system. The speakers emphasized the importance of preparing students for AI-enabled jobs, stating that Australia needs 445,000 more technology-skilled workers by 2030. They highlighted the need for education to keep up with technology, especially AI, and discussed the release of the Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence.

Ms. Walker underscored the significance of AI literacy training for both current and future teachers. She stressed the need for equitable access to technology in schools, particularly in rural and low socioeconomic areas, and expressed concerns about the potential exacerbation of disparities if access is not ensured. The discussion touched upon the challenges of providing professional development for teachers and the importance of online accessibility.

The conversation also delved into privacy issues, mental health concerns, and the need for interventions to protect students. Ms. Walker mentioned a trial in South Australia that allows local control over access to chatbots, ensuring safety and boundaries for students exploring AI technologies. Both speakers addressed the need for a proactive approach to AI education, emphasizing the long-term commitment required and the potential risks of not keeping pace with AI developments.


Read the full transcript at Parliament of Australia