Questioning the scope of AI standardization in learning, education, and training

Jon Mason, Bruce E. Peoples, Jaeho Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    123 Downloads (Pure)


    Well-defined terminology and scope are essential in formal standardization work. In the broad domain of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) the necessity is even more so due to proliferation and appropriation of terms from other fields and public discourse - the term 'smart' is a classic example; as is 'deep learning'. In reviewing the emerging impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the field of Information Technology for Learning, Education, and Training (ITLET), this paper highlights several questions that might assist in developing scope statements of new work items. While learners and teachers are very much foregrounded in past and present standardization efforts in ITLET, little attention has been placed until recently on whether these learners and teachers are necessarily human. Now that AI is a hot spot of innovation it is receiving considerable attention from standardization bodies such as ISO/IEC, IEEE and pan-European initiatives such as the Next Generation Internet. Thus, terminology such as 'blended learning' necessarily now spans not just humans in a mix of online and offline learning, but also mixed reality and AI paradigms, developed to assist human learners in environments such as Adaptive Instructional Systems (AIS) that extend the scope and design of a learning experience where a symbiosis is formed between humans and AI. Although the fields of LET and AI may utilize similar terms, the language of AI is mathematics and terms can mean different things in each field. Nonetheless, in 'symbiotic learning' contexts where an AIS at times replaces a human teacher, a symbiosis between the human learner and the AIS occurs in such a way where both can exist as teacher and learner. While human ethics and values are preeminent in this new symbiosis, a shift towards a new 'intelligence nexus' is signalled where ethics and values can also apply to AI in learning, education, and training (LET) contexts. In making sense of the scope of standardization efforts in the context of LET based AI, issues for the human-computer interface become more complex than simply appropriating terminology such as 'smart' in the next era of standardization. Framed by ITLET perspectives, this paper focuses on detailing the implications for standardization and key questions arising from developments in Artificial Intelligence. At a high level, we need to ask: do the scopes of current LET related Standards Committees still apply and if not, what scope changes are needed?.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    Pages (from-to)107-122
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of ICT Standardization
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2020


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