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Summit on Artificial Intelligence and Educational Futures: Opportunities, Risks, and Ethics

Programming Update: Thank you for your support of the Summit on Artificial Intelligence and Educational Futures. Due to the CDC and UW­­­–Madison campus guidelines related to COVID-19, we unfortunately must cancel this event. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Details regarding rescheduling for a later date will be posted to this page as soon as they are available.

When: May 13th, 2020, 8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.

Where: Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53706 

Registration: $25 professional/$10 student
(includes lunch and refreshments)

Summit Convenor: Prof. Bernadette Baker, UW-Madison Department of Curriculum & Instruction


Artificial intelligence technologies are now operational across many sectors, institutions and disciplines. From machine learning and computer vision-inspired software in gaming, testing, and tutoring to robotics and data-ification movements, the social contract is being rewritten, with education’s new possibilities as part of it.

This one-day Summit, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, is dedicated to examining the opportunities, risks and ethics generated by AI technologies developed outside and within educational settings.

Our keynote speaker, Hod Lipson, will kick off the day with a presentation on “The Six Waves of Artificial Intelligence.” This talk will explain what AI is, how it works and what it can and cannot do. It will also address what is driving the technology and try to predict its future as it unfolds in six waves.

The AI and Educational Futures Summit: Opportunities, Risks, and Ethics invites you to contribute to this ongoing conversation at the first such event hosted on the UW-Madison campus.

Hod Lipson: The Six Waves of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics technologies have been making grand strides over the past few years by outperforming humans in tasks once thought to be impossible to automate. Machines can now recognize images, interpret audio and understand language with unprecedented reliability. Where will this technology go next and and how far can it reach? This talk will explain what AI is, how it works and what it can and cannot do. It will also address what is driving the technology and try to predict its future as it unfolds in six waves.

Hod Lipson is a professor of Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University in New York, and a co-author of the award winning books “Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing” and “Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead.” His work on self-aware and self-replicating robots challenges conventional views of robotics. Lipson also directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create as well as machines that are creative.  For more information about our keynote speaker, visit hodlipson.com.


  • K-16 Educators
  • Researchers
  • Students
  • Community members interested in learning more about artificial intelligence


Attendees can expect to explore the following questions over the course of the day with special guest speakers, in Q & A sessions and through hands-on demos and workshops.

  • What is already out there and in play and what’s under development?
  • How might new technologies help solve previously intractable educational problems?
  • How might the roles of teachers and students be refigured?
  • What is meant by knowledge, learning, curriculum, and memory in the context of specific technological innovations?
  • What could be handed over to automation in the classroom and what not?
  • What would an AI-inspired classroom driven by educational data mining and learning analytics look like?
  • What reforms would teacher education need to consider?
  • And significantly, what implications for social equity, data management, and imagined futures of “the human” do AI technologies put in play?


Morning Session Theme: AI in the Now: Opportunities, Risks and Practices

8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome
8:45-9:40 a.m. Keynote, Professor of Innovation, Hod Lipson, Columbia University
9:40-10:00 a.m. Break
10:00-11:20 a.m. Panel Discussion: Snapshots of AI in Motion in the Now
11:20 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Panel Q&A
12:00-12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45-1:15 p.m. Hands-on Workshops and Demos
1:15-1:30 p.m. Break

Afternoon Session Theme: AI in the Know: Complexity, Ethics, and Possibilities

1:30-2:15 p.m. Description coming soon!
2:15-2:30 p.m. Break
2:30-3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: Snapshots of Complexity: AI in the Know
3:30-4:00 p.m. Panel Q&A


Contact PLACE Conference and Event Planning Services at conferences@education.wisc.edu.