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Report on Mobile Learning Week 2019

The Mobile Learning Week 2019, under the theme “Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable development” co- organized by UNESCO, the International Telecommunication Union, the ProFuturo Foundation and Skillogs, was held from 4 to 8 March 2019, at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

The five-day event started with the “Global Conference – Principles for AI: Towards a humanistic approach ?“, followed by a one-day Policy Forum and Workshops, a two-day International Symposium and a half-day of Strategy Labs.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said “The issues raised by artificial intelligence are not technological. They concern our own humanity, raising scientific, political, philosophical and ethical questions.”

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay speaking at the Mobile Learning Week 2019

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay speaking at the Mobile Learning Week 2019


Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) spoke of the need for cooperation to ensure that AI becomes a driver of inclusive and sustainable growth. “We have to get this right, because while AI is driving optimism, it is also fuelling anxieties and ethical concerns.”

“The time is more than ripe to define the ethical principles that must serve as a foundation and framework of this disruption; to ensure that AI serves collective choices, based on humanist values.”
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

Throughout the global conference, academics, representatives of intergovernmental organizations, government ministers, the private sector, members of the technical community, the media, and civil society called for the development of ethical principles to govern AI on the basis of transparency and accountability.

They stressed the need for open data that is respectful of privacy. They stressed the importance of data, which goes beyond information traditionally collected by public services, as it informs the predictions and decisions that already allow AI to contribute to the treatment of diseases, the management of water resources and agricultural planning, for example.

But data is not neutral, and several participants pointed out that making technology serve humanity required data that is truly representative and inclusive, which poses a problem considering that half the world’s population remains unconnected to the internet.

WFEO President-Elect GONG Ke speaking at the Mobile Learning Week 2019

WFEO President-Elect GONG Ke speaking at the Mobile Learning Week 2019


GONG Ke, President-Elect of WFEO, was invited as keynote speaker at the international symposium and represented the Scientific and Technological (STC) Major Group of United Nations, which includes WFEO and the International Science Council to call for:

  1. Getting consensus on AI ethical principles;
  2. Studying on how to convert these consensuses to policies, rules, laws, etc;
  3. Setting technical standards, to ensure the ethical requirements to be effectively embedded into AI system and could be tested and verified;
  4. Educating people, who designing, manufacturing, selling and using AI, how to responsible conduct with AI.

Mobile Learning Week is UNESCO’s flagship ICT in education conference. Held annually since 2011, the event convenes experts from around the world to share how affordable and powerful advanced technology can accelerate learning for all.

Report from LI Pan, from the Committee on Engineering for Innovative Technologies (CEIT)

For more information:

Mobile Learning Week website
UN Scientific and Technological (STC) Major Group website
International Science Council website
UNESCO website
International Telecommunication Union website
ProFuturo Foundation website
Skillogs website

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