The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Artificial Intelligence and the enhancement of learners’ human rights– a slippery slope?

Michael Laubscher, Faculty of Law, North-West University (South Africa)

Willem van Vollenhoven, Centre for Teaching and Learning, North-West University (South Africa)


The increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education has raised many questions. As with any development, there seems to be advantages and disadvantages with using AI in assisting learners. AI can certainly enhance learning among learners, but it can also lead to the neglect of fundamental and critical issues such as human rights (Holmes, Persson, Chounta, Wasson & Dimitrova, 2022).  Entrusting AI technology with moral issues and the exploration and application of human rights can indeed prove to be a slippery slope. AI seems to fail to utilise the depth of interpretation that human beings can offer, or the empathy and understanding that humans can give to other humans. (Byrne, Tang, Trudic & Tang, 2010). Does this mean AI should not be utilised at all in the learning process when it comes to learners? Such an approach would be narrow-minded. However, how and when we use AI in education, especially when dealing with critical issues such as establishing and enhancing learners’ human rights in education, needs to be discussed, analysed and applied with great care. It is important that this discussion is not merely academic but that it also leads to practical applications. At the centre of this discussion is the issue of trust – trusting AI but, maybe even more importantly, trusting the effective and ethical application of AI in education which will lead to a triumph for human rights (Holmes et al., 2022).




Artificial intelligence, human rights, application, bias, learning, empathy, interpretation



Holmes, W., Persson, J., Chounta, I. A., Wasson, B., & Dimitrova, V. (2022).Artificial intelligence and education: A critical view through the lens of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Council of Europe.


Byrne, R., Tang, M., Truduc, J., & Tang, M. (2010). eGrader, a software application that automatically scores student essays: with a postscript on the ethical complexities. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics & Informatics8(6), 30-35.



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