1st Workshop on Artificial
Intelligence in Education to
Support the Social Inclusion of Communities (AIEDSIC)
June 28, 2011, Auckland, New Zealand
About 20 years ago, in a paper entitled "Computational Mathetics: the Missing Link of
Artificial Intelligence in Education", John Self argued that AI in Education has missed its
connection with formal AI, its theoretical side. Some people argued that this was necessary
so that AI in Education (AIED) could be able to deliver real world applications. However, in
the real world, half of the population lives with less then 3 dollars a day with many socially
excluded from education, health and other basic services. Social inclusion seeks to address
the needs of this population, mostly living in underdeveloped countries, and also combat factors
that are socially problematic in developed countries such as poor educational attainment,
unemployment, poor health/special needs, low income, crime and poor housing/local environment.
The Artificial Intelligence in Education community has spent more than 30 years researching
the design of adaptive technologies to support learning. However, the issue of supporting social
inclusion has never been directly addressed. Has AI in Education also missed an important
connection with the real world?
We argue that AI in Education systems have a challenging role to play in helping to transform
communities but we also accept that much has to be done to establish the ways in which work on AI
in Education supports such activities indirectly, and to determine what future work needs to be
The European Union made 2010 the
European Year For Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The key objectives were to improve
public awareness and commitment at the political level to fight poverty and social exclusion while
some key challenges are:
- To eradicate child poverty by breaking the vicious circle of intergenerational
- To promote the active inclusion in the society and the labour market of the most
- To ensure decent housing for everyone.
- To overcome discrimination and increase the integration of people with disabilities,
ethnic minorities and immigrants and other vulnerable groups.
- To tackle financial exclusion and overindebtedness.
We can start by focusing on AIED's capacity to support these aims. Therefore, the main
purpose of this First Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Education to Support the Social
Inclusion of Communities (AIEDSIC) is to identify and discuss the challenges that arise in
addressing issues of supporting the social inclusion of communities in the context of AI in
Education research and lay the groundwork for future workshops in this area.
Researchers from the interdisciplinary fields of community informatics and artificial
intelligence in education, particularly those concerned with addressing issues of social
inclusion of communities in their research and also those that are concerned with incorporating
adaptive learning technologies in real context applications. The workshop will be of interest
to people working in all areas of AIED research and to those interested in analysing the nature
of social inclusion problems and the ways they can be addressed by adaptive learning technologies.
Communities that should be particularly interested are: those researching the use of adaptive
systems for children with special needs (i.e. those with cognitive, affective, social or
behavioural problems); those working on social aspects of Web 2.0; those looking at social factors
in the use of CSCL; those working with second language learners; those working on the "digital
Format and Activities:
As the proposal involves the formation of a workshop series in an area that is not well
understood, the structure of the workshop will need to be kept fluid. The plan is that the
workshop should be strongly interactive and exploratory of the field focused on the presentation
of position papers followed by discussion.
Presentations and discussions will be oriented to explore opportunities to connect work from
the areas of social inclusion of communities and adaptive learning technologies. The aim is to
produce a research agenda on AI in Education to support the social inclusion of communities
outlining a research plan to advance research in this area.
A keynote speaker will be invited to present their vision for future research. The workshop
will consist of a mixture of position paper presentations from researchers and in-depth
Renato Archer Center of Information Technology - CTI, Brazil
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Robert Aiken (Temple University, USA)
Fabio Akhras (Renato Archer Center of Information Technology - CTI, Brazil) (co-chair)
Paul Brna (University of Edinburgh, UK) (co-chair)
Matthew Easterday (Northwestern University, USA) (co-chair)
Nicolas Van Labeke (University of Nottingham, UK)
Rose Luckin (Institute of Education, UK)
Rafael Morales (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
Jack Mostow (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Gilda Olinto (Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology, IBICT, Brazil)
Natasha Queiroz (Federal University of Paraiba, UFPB, Brazil)