Artificial Intelligence and Teachers’ New Ethical Obligations


  • Catherine Adams
  • Patti Pente
  • Gillian Lemermeyer
  • Joni Turville
  • Geoffrey Rockwell



artificial intelligence, teaching, education


Largely thought to be immune from automation, the teaching profession is now being challenged on multiple fronts by new digital infrastructures and smart software that automate pedagogical decision-making and supporting teaching practises. To better understand this emerging and ethically fraught intensification of technologies in today’s classrooms, we asked, “what new ethical obligations are teachers facing as a result of AI technology adoption in schools?” We began by defining AI, then turned to posthumanism to grapple with how networked, AI-enhanced digital technologies extend and intermesh with human beings cognitively, affectively, morally, corporeally, spatially, temporally, socially and politically. We catalogued Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies that have been deployed in some of today’s K-12 classrooms (AIEDK-12)s and developed a topology of AIEDK-12 technologies based on (1) teachers’ professional activities being supported by AI, (2) AI being used by and for learners to facilitate their learning and development; (3) additions to K-12 curricula about AI; and (4) AI-based technologies being used by schools, districts and ministries of education to inform decisions that affect teachers. We then consider how a posthumanist investigative approach to disclosive ethics —”interviewing objects”— can shed new light on the implications of widespread deployment of AIEdK12 on teachers’ work. We interviewed three AI-based educational applications, recasting teachers and students as involved and evolving human-AI hybrids. In the process, we uncovered some of the new complications and ethical conundrums being introduced to teachers’ professional practises.


Aalho, Jukka, and GPT-3: Aum Golly: poems on humanity by an artificial intelligence. Basam Books (2021).

Adams, Catherine, and Terrie Lynn Thompson: Researching a posthuman world: Interviews with digital objects. Springer (2016).

Adams, Catherine, and Terrie Lynn Thompson: "Interviews with digital objects: a special issue on speaking with the digital." Explorations in Media Ecology 19.3 (2020): 249-254.

Alcorn, Alyssa M., et al.: "Educators' views on using humanoid robots with autistic learners in special education settings in England." Frontiers in Robotics and AI 6 (2019): 107.

Amira Learning: “Reading Science Meets AI”. Available at

Arksey, Hilary, and Lisa O'Malley: "Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework." International journal of social research methodology 8.1 (2005): 19-32.

Barad, Karen: Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Duke University Press, 2007.

Barad, Karen: “Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart”, Parallax, 20:3 (2014), 168-187.

Barad, Karen: “On Touching the Stranger Within – The Alterity that therefore I Am” The Poetry Project, 29 March, 2021. Available at

Barber, Gregory: “Schools adopt face recognition in the name of fighting Covid.” Wired. Available at

Bayne, Sian: "Teacherbot: interventions in automated teaching." Teaching in Higher Education 20.4 (2015): 455-467.

Beautiful ai.: “The first presentation maker that designs for you”. Available at

Boden, M.: “Creativity and artificial intelligence” Artificial Intelligence, 103.1-2 (I998): 347-356

Bostrom, Nick, and Eliezer Yudkowsky: "The ethics of artificial intelligence." The Cambridge handbook of artificial intelligence 1 (2014): 316-334.

Brey, Philip. "Disclosive computer ethics." ACM Sigcas Computers and Society 30.4 (2000): 10-16.

Brey, Philip. "Values in technology and disclosive computer ethics." The Cambridge handbook of information and computer ethics 4 (2010): 41-58.

Brown, Tom B., Mann, Benjamin, Ryder, Nick, Subbiah, Melanie, et al: “Language Models are Few-Shot Learners”. arXiv:2005.14165v4, 2020.

Carnegie Learning: “MATHiaU: Take your math classroom to the next level”. Available at

Cognii. “Artificial Intelligence for Education”. Available at

Dear, Brian: The friendly orange glow: The untold story of the rise of cyberculture. Vintage, 2017.

Deepfakes Web. Available at

Eicher, Bobbie, Lalith Polepeddi, and Ashok Goel: "Jill Watson doesn't care if you're pregnant: Grounding AI ethics in empirical studies." Proceedings of the 2018 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society. 2018.

Feldstein, Michael, and Phil Hill: "Personalized learning: What it really is and why it really matters." Educause Review 51.2 (2016): 24-35.

Greenfield G.: “Artificial Life and Artificial Intelligence Advances in the Visual Arts”, edited by Machado P., Romero J., Greenfield G. Artificial Intelligence and the Arts. Computational Synthesis and Creative Systems, Springer, 2021,

Goel, Ashok K., and David A. Joyner: An experiment in teaching cognitive systems online. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015.

Goel, Ashok K., and David A. Joyner. "Using AI to teach AI: lessons from an online AI class." AI Magazine 38.2 (2017): 48-59.

Gourlay, Lesley: Posthumanism and the digital university: Texts, bodies and materialities. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Grammarly. Available at

Hao, Karen: “What is AI? We drew you a flowchart to work it out”. MIT Technology Review, 10 November 2018. Available at

Hao, Karen: “Robots that teach autistic kids social skills could help them develop”. MIT Technology Review, 26 February 2020. Available at

Hong, Joo-Wha, and Nathaniel Ming Curran: "Artificial intelligence, artists, and art: attitudes toward artwork produced by humans vs. artificial intelligence." ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMM) 15.2s (2019): 1-16.

IBM Watson AI-based collaborative educational project. Available at

IntelliMetric. Available at

Introna, Lucas D. "Disclosive ethics and information technology: Disclosing facial recognition systems." Ethics and Information Technology 7.2 (2005): 75-86.

Kaplan, Andreas, and Michael Haenlein: "Siri, Siri, in my hand: Who’s the fairest in the land? On the interpretations, illustrations, and implications of artificial intelligence." Business Horizons 62.1 (2019): 15-25.

Kouppanou, Anna: ‘…Einstein’s most rational dimension of noetic life and the teddy bear…’: An interview with Bernard Stiegler on childhood, education and the digital. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 35.3 (2016): 241–249.

Kumar, Priya C., et al.: "The platformization of the classroom: Teachers as surveillant consumers." Surveillance & Society 17.1/2 (2019): 145-152.

Lehoux, Pascale., & Rivard, Lysanne: “Hidden in plain sight: The infrastructures that support artificial intelligence”, 24 January, 2021. Available at

Lewis, Jason Edward, et al.: "Making kin with the machines." Journal of Design and Science (2018). 10.21428/bfafd97b.

Liu, Yi-Ling: “AI applications in Chinese education. The Future of the Classroom? China’s experience of AI in education” (pp. 27-33). Nesta. (2020). Available at

Luckin, Rose, et al.:"Intelligence unleashed: An argument for AI in education." (2016).

Lundie, David: "The givenness of the human learning experience and its incompatibility with information analytics." Educational Philosophy and Theory 49.4 (2017): 391-404.

Lupton, Deborah, and Ben Williamson: "The datafied child: The dataveillance of children and implications for their rights." New Media & Society 19.5 (2017): 780-794.

Maclaren, Kym: "Touching matters: Embodiments of intimacy." Emotion, Space and Society 13 (2014): 95-102.

McCreary, Dan: “Using AL to Generate Detailed Lesson Plans”. Medium. 12 November, 2020. Available at

McStay, Andrew.:"Emotional AI and EdTech: serving the public good?." Learning, Media and Technology 45.3 (2020): 270-283. doi: 10.1080/17439884.2020.1686016.

Mindspark. Available at

Mishra, Punya, and Matthew J. Koehler.:"Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge." Teachers college record 108.6 (2006): 1017-1054. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x.

Natural Reader. Available at

O’Neal, Cathy: Weapons of math destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. Crown, 2016. Available at

Pakkar, Roxanna, et al.: "Designing a socially assistive robot for long-term in-home use for children with autism spectrum disorders." 2019 28th IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN). IEEE, 2019. doi: 10.1109/RO-MAN46459.2019.8956468.

Pardo, Abelardo, and George Siemens: "Ethical and privacy principles for learning analytics." British Journal of Educational Technology 45.3 (2014): 438-450.

Pente, Patti, Cathy Adams, and Connie Yuen: “Artificial Intelligence, ethics, and art education in a posthuman world”. In A. Knochel & O. Sahara (Eds.), Global Media Arts. Palgrave, forthcoming.

Peters, Michael A., Petar Jandrić, and Alexander J. Means, eds: Education and technological unemployment. Springer, 2019.

Petrina, Stephen: "Sidney Pressey and the automation of education, 1924-1934." Technology and Culture 45.2 (2004): 305-330. Available at

Postma, Dirk: "Critical Posthumanism in Education." Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Education. 2020.

Prinsloo, Paul, and Sharon Slade: "Educational triage in open distance learning: Walking a moral tightrope." International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning 15.4 (2014): 306-331.

ProctorU: Exam Security. Done Right. Available at

Rai, Arun, et al.:“Editor’s comments: next-generation digital platforms: toward human-AI hybrids.” MIS Quarterly Vol. 43:1, 2019, iii-ix.

Roos-Breines, Markus, and Michael Gallagher: "A return to Teacherbot: rethinking the development of educational technology at the University of Edinburgh." Teaching in Higher Education (2020): 1-15. Available at

Rubel, Alan, and Kyle ML Jones: "Student privacy in learning analytics: An information ethics perspective." The information society 32.2 (2016): 143-159.

Selwyn, Neil: Should robots replace teachers?: AI and the future of education. John Wiley & Sons, 2019.

Selwyn, Neil, et al.: "Digital Technologies and the Automation of Education—Key Questions and Concerns." Postdigital Science and Education (2021): 1-10. Available at

Shen, Libi, and Anchi Su: "The Changing Roles of Teachers With AI." Revolutionizing Education in the Age of AI and Machine Learning. IGI Global, 2020. 1-25.

Social Solutions. Available at

Slade, Sharon, and Paul Prinsloo: "Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas." American Behavioral Scientist 57.10 (2013): 1510-1529.

Squirrel AI Learning: First AI-adapted education provider in China. Available at

Stiegler, Bernard: "Artificial stupidity and artificial intelligence in the anthropocene." Academia. edu. https://www. academia. edu/37849763/Bernard_Stiegler_Artificial_Stupidity_and_Artificial_Intelligence_in_the_Anthropocene_2018_ (2018).

Tai, C: “Under AI’s watchful eye, China wants to raise smarter students”. WSJ Video, 2019. Available at

Teach to one 360. Available at

Text2Art. Accessed 2 November 2021. Available at

The Institute for Ethical AI in Education: “Developing a shared vision of ethical AI in education: An invitation to participate”. University of Buckingham. Available at .

Thinkster: Available at

Thompson, Greg, and Ian Cook: "The logic of data-sense: Thinking through learning personalisation." Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 38.5 (2017): 740-754.

Turing, Alan M: "Computing machinery and intelligence." Parsing the turing test. Springer, Dordrecht, 2009. 23-65. Available at

UNICEF: Policy Guidance on AI for Children, 2020. New York, NY. Retrieved January 28, 2021 at

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: “Beijing Consensus on artificial intelligence and education”. 2021. Available at UNESCO.

Vincent-Lancrin, Stéphan, and Reyer Van der Vlies: "Trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in education: Promises and challenges." (2020).

Wang, Pei: "On defining artificial intelligence." Journal of Artificial General Intelligence 10.2 (2019): 1-37.

Weissenbacher, Alan: "Rights and guidelines for protecting cognitive liberty in the age of neuro-engineering." Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence (2020): 269.

Williamson, Ben: "Governing software: Networks, databases and algorithmic power in the digital governance of public education." Learning, Media and Technology 40.1 (2015): 83-105.

Williamson, Ben: "Digital education governance: data visualization, predictive analytics, and ‘real-time’policy instruments." Journal of Education Policy 31.2 (2016): 123-141.

Zawacki-Richter, Olaf, et al.:"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 (2019): 1-27. Available at

Zurth, Patrick” “Artificial Creativity? A Case Against Copyright Protection for AI Generated Works” UCLA Journal of Law & Technology, published at, Available at Accessed 15 November 2021.



2022-08-22 — Updated on 2022-11-09


How to Cite

Adams, Catherine, Patti Pente, Gillian Lemermeyer, Joni Turville, and Geoffrey Rockwell. (2022) 2022. “Artificial Intelligence and Teachers’ New Ethical Obligations”. The International Review of Information Ethics 31 (1). Edmonton, Canada.