This contribution reports on a symposium that aimed to collectively discuss different approaches to deal with processes of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of education. Inspired by Asimov’s Laws of Robotics and Pasquale's recently published New Laws of Robotics, the symposium’s purpose was to collectively advance laws that would be specifically tailored to the field of education. In that regard, the term edu-automation seeks to propose ways of conceptualizing and imagining automation as an educational endeavor; that is, not as a purely technical-factual matter that is subsequently translated into educational practice, but equally as a matter of educational concern. Through three narratives and propositions, this contribution discusses similarities and differences between the concepts of automation and AI, and shows some of the different features that tie education and automation together. The variety and substantial differences between the three accounts shows that automation and AI cannot be approached single-sidedly, and that in order to come to a profound understanding of this phenomenon, we need to deploy a variety of theoretical, educational, and normative standpoints and positions.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
Arendt, H. (1960/2006). The Crisis in Culture: Its Social and its Political Significance. In H. Arendt, Between Past and Future (pp. 194–222). London: Penguin.
Asimov, I. (1942). Runaround. In J. W. Campbell, Jr. (Ed.), Astounding Science Fiction, March. New York: Street & Smith Publications, Inc.
Baker, R. S. (2016). Stupid Tutoring Systems, Intelligent Humans. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 26(2), 600-614. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40593-016-0105-0.
Callon, M. (1984). Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay. The Sociological Review, 32(1_suppl), 196–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1984.tb00113.x.
Cave, S., Dihal, K., & Dillon, S. (Eds.). (2020). AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking About Intelligent Machines. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chen, X., Xie, H., Zou, D., & Hwang, G. J. (2020). Application and Theory Gaps During the Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Education. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 1, 100002. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeai.2020.100002.
Edwards, P. N. (2003). Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time and Social Organization in the History of Sociotechnical Systems. In T. J. Misa, P. Brey, & A. Feenberg (Eds.), Modernity and Technology (pp. 185– 225). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Gorur, R., Hamilton, M., Lundahl, C., & Sjödin, E. S. (2019). Politics by Other Means? STS and Research in Education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2018.1549700.
Haff, P. (2014). Humans and Technology in the Anthropocene: Six Rules. The Anthropocene Review, 1(2), 126–136. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053019614530575.
Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Routledge.
Haraway, D. (1995). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of the Partial Perspective. In A. Feenberg & A. Hannay (Eds.), Technology and the Politics of Knowledge (pp. 175-194). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Hui, Y. (2018). On Automation and Free Time. Eflux, March. https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/superhumanity/179224/on-automation-and-free-time/. Accessed 11 November 2022.
Kaminska, I. (2019). Just because it’s Digital Doesn’t Mean it’s Green. Financial Times, 6 March. https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/03/06/1551886838000/Just-because-it-s-digital-doesn-t-mean-it-s-green/. Accessed 11 November 2022.
Law, J., & Singleton, V. (2014). ANT, Multiplicity and Policy. Critical Policy Studies, 8(4), 379–396. https://doi.org/10.1080/19460171.2014.957056.
Nemorin, S., Vlachidis, A., Ayerakwa, H. M., & Andriotis, P. (2022). AI hyped? A Horizon Scan of Discourse on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) and Development. Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2022.2095568.
Pasquale, F. (2020). New laws of robotics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Perrotta, C., Gulson, K. N., Williamson, B., & Witzenberger, K. (2021). Automation, APIs and the Distributed Labour of Platform Pedagogies in Google Classroom. Critical Studies in Education, 62(1), 97-113. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2020.1855597.
Perrotta, C. (2023). Afterword: Platformed Professionalities and the Ongoing Digital Transformation of Education. Tertium Comparationis.
Selwyn, N. (2019). Should Robots Replace Teachers? AI and the Future of Education. Cambridge: Polity.
Selwyn, N. (2022). EdTech and Climate Colonialism. Critical Studies of Education and Technology, 2 October. https://criticaledtech.com/2022/10/02/edtech-and-climate-colonialism/. Accessed 11 November 2022.
Serres, M. (2015). Thumbelina: The Culture and Technology of Millennials. Trans. D. W. Smith. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Selwyn, N., Hillman, T., Bergviken Rensfeldt, A., & Perrotta, C. (2021). Digital Technologies and the Automation of Education: Key Questions and Concerns. Postdigital Science and Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/S42438-021-00263-3.
Stacey, J., & Suchman, L. (2012). Animation and Automation: The Liveliness and Labours of Bodies and Machines. Body and Society, 18(1), 1-46. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X11431845.
Stone, C. D. (2012). Should Trees Have Standing?—Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects. In S. Vanderheiden (Ed.), Environmental Rights (pp. 283-334). London and New York: Routledge.
Strathern, M. (2004). Partial Connections. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Suchman, L. (2007). Human-Machine Reconfigurations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zawacki-Richter, O., Marín, V. I., Bond, M., & Gouverneur, F. (2019). Systematic Review of Research on Artificial Intelligence Applications in Higher Education – Where Are the Educators? International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0171-0.
Zhang, K., & Aslan, A. B. (2021). AI Technologies for Education: Recent Research & Future Directions. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 2, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeai.2021.100025.
About this article
Cite this article
Decuypere, M., Alirezabeigi, S., Grimaldi, E. et al. Laws of Edu-Automation? Three Different Approaches to Deal with Processes of Automation and Artificial Intelligence in the Field of Education. Postdigit Sci Educ 5, 44–55 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-022-00360-x