In a world increasingly shaped by artificial intelligence (AI), the role of education and its intersection with this powerful technology is at a crucial point. At the Tang Institute’s first Lunch & Discussion event of the 2023 – 2024 school year, education consultant Eric Hudson shed a bit of light on the power and potential of AI in schools, sparking a thought-provoking conversation with nearly 60 Andover staff, faculty, and students.

Hudson addressed how AI technologies can enhance and improve the learning experience for students, referencing personalized learning platforms, AI-powered grading systems, and virtual tutors, among other innovations. With the ability to adapt to individual student needs, AI has the potential to make education more engaging and effective.

Teachers can benefit, too. Because generative AI can produce human-like text (and is getting better and better at this) and has promising applications in content creation, it already creates successful rubrics. These rubrics give time back to educators and provide them with valuable tools for assessing student work and providing meaningful feedback.

There was an audible gasp when Hudson cited a recent New York Times article that encouraged teachers to assume 100 percent of students are using AI to do schoolwork. While Hudson pushed back on this potentially hyperbolic claim, his presentation reinforced the changing landscape of work and the need for schools to prepare students for an AI-augmented world. Schools must foster skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability — the human qualities that will remain invaluable even as AI advances. Hudson’s address underscored the imperative role of educational institutions in shaping the future of their students in the face of AI disruption.

Of course, the integration of AI in education, while promising, is not without pitfalls. One significant concern lies in the pervasive bias that can infect AI tools. These biases can result in discriminatory outcomes, disproportionately affecting marginalized students and reinforcing existing disparities. For instance, AI detection software designed to find instances of plagiarism often fails to grasp the nuances of diverse writing styles and backgrounds and penalizes students who are not native speakers of English. (This is only one reason why AI detectors have been shown not to be effective.)

An over-reliance on AI in education could deepen the societal gaps that already exist because not all students have equal access to AI-enhanced resources and tools. Raising awareness about these pitfalls and working toward mitigating bias in AI are essential steps in ensuring that the benefits of AI in education are equitably distributed.

Hudson encouraged teachers and students to adopt a growth mindset, emphasizing that embracing AI in education requires an openness to change and the willingness to adapt to new tools and approaches. This call for a receptive learning stance was a thread throughout his address, guiding the audience toward the transformative potential.

And finally, Hudson reminded the audience that powerful artificial intelligence remains imperfect. This imperfection makes it the perfect subject for teachers and students to learn about, adapt to, and guide in a way that aligns with our educational goals and values.


If you’re interested in learning more, read Back to School with AI,” Hudson’s 5‑part blog series on Substack. During his talk, Hudson also shared two notable figures in the AI world worth following: Maha Bali at American University in Cairo and Ethan Mollick at the University of Pennsylvania. Both are at the forefront of the integration of AI in education and are valuable sources of inspiration and insight.

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