Dublin, 15th June 2023: The ADAPT SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology has launched a ground-breaking initiative called Technology in My Life aimed at primary school students. The free modular workshop series will equip students with the skills and knowledge to understand, evaluate, and have a voice on the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our rapidly evolving world. 

AI is a transformative technology that brings enormous benefits to citizens and society. However, it also has major implications for privacy and ethics. Recognizing the need to educate and empower the next generation, the ADAPT SFI Research Centre is launching the Technology in My Life programme to navigate the Age of AI successfully. 

As part of ADAPT’s #DiscussAI initiative, a highly successful public engagement campaign that has already captivated over 40,000 members of the Irish public in learning, conversations and reflection on how AI impacts all our lives and our society, Technology in My Life will delve into the privacy and ethical implications of AI. The teacher-led workshops will cover topics that cut across the primary school curriculum and encourage critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and effective communication among students.

Modules of the workshop series have already been piloted in DEIS schools with the support of Mary Immaculate College and Technological University of the Shannon, receiving enthusiastic support from students and teachers alike.

The Technology in My Life workshops are designed to provide 5th and 6th Class students and teachers with greater knowledge of and appreciation for the technology that they use every day in school and at home. The programme specifically addresses the ethical use of technology in accordance with the moral and ethical standards of the school, the children’s home and society in general. 

Speaking about the programme, Professor Dave Lewis, Director of the ADAPT SFI Research Centre and Head of Artificial Intelligence at Trinity College Dublin, said: “AI is increasingly embedded into our personal, social and professional lives. Those who have the skills to work in this evolving environment will benefit the most. Through this programme, we aim to empower students to become scientific citizens who can evaluate and contribute to the role of emerging STEM innovations in our society.”

Some key topics covered in the workshop series include: 

  • Identifying the appropriate technologies for primary school students to access
  • Ethical considerations when using technology, such as voice assistants, for help with homework
  • Responsible use of the Internet and social media for contacting friends and information gathering 
  • Identifying and dealing with forms of unethical and undesirable behaviour facilitated by technology 

The full programme is designed to be delivered over eight hours of class time. However, its flexible structure allows for shorter and longer lesson structures, catering for the needs of different schools.

Schools across the country are encouraged to register their interest in the Technology in My LIfe programme by visiting www.adaptcentre.ie/projects/technology-in-my-life. By participating in this initiative, schools are providing the foundation for students to navigate the ethical use of AI, empowering them to make informed decisions and lead a responsible digital future.