New "digital CVs" that record a pupil’s knowledge and skills will “destroy” high-stakes exams, an artificial intelligence pioneer has told MPs.
Priya Lakhani, the founder of edtech company Century Tech, warned that unless the government took action, such “micro-credentialing” could be developed by companies without the input of education specialists.
Giving evidence to the Commons Education Select Committee’s inquiry on the fourth industrial revolution this morning, she told MPs that “the government does not understand artificial intelligence in education”.
Ms Lakhani said new phone apps that use artificial intelligence and blockchain encryption to provide a record of a pupil’s skills and abilities “will happen in the next 12 to 18 months”.
“There will be micro-credentialing,” she said. “All these students that are leaving schools and colleges will have an application on their phone that will host their micro-credentials: their nano-degrees, where you can do these free courses or paid-for courses.
“That application will update, it will be immutable because it will be on the blockchain.
“Students will also have a real-time record from the likes of Century, an artificially intelligent platform, that will tell that application exactly their knowledge, their skills, gaps in knowledge and skills, what they need to improve, their perseverance, their resilience, their effort levels. That will be on the mobile phone.
“Just imagine, in two or three years’ time when you go to an employer, as a student, and rather than handing in a piece of paper or a CV that shows them your GCSEs or A levels or your apprenticeship... Imagine if you just show them the record of this ‘digital CV’ on this application – that will destroy high-stakes assessment, because no employer is going to be interested in your GCSEs, they are going to be interested in what this application says.”
Last year, Ms Lakhani co-founded the Institute for Ethical AI in Education (IEAIED), which aims to make the UK a “world leader” in ethical AI for education.
Today, she raised concerns that these digital CVs could be developed by people who are not education specialists.
She asked: “Who’s going to form these applications? Who’s going to run that application? Because if it’s not going to be led by this government then it is going to be led by the tech industry, and can we, as a country, afford to do that when some tech companies may not employ educationalists, may not work with learning design specialists?
“It’s not a choice; it’s going to happen. We have to think. We need to get on the train quickly; otherwise we are going to be left behind.”