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The Guardian is right to express legitimate concerns about the opacity of machine learning systems and attempts to replicate what humans do best (Editorial, 23 September), and we welcome this. However, as founders of the Institute for Ethical AI in Education (IEAIED) we believe these problems must be overcome in order to ensure people are able to benefit from artificial intelligence, not just fear it.

There are highly beneficial applications of machine learning. In education, for example, this innovation will enable personalised learning for all and is already enabling individualised learning support for increasing numbers of students. Well-designed AI can be used to identify learners’ particular needs so that everyone – especially the most vulnerable – can receive targeted support. Given the magnitude of what people have to gain from machine learning tools, we feel an obligation to mitigate and counteract the inherent risks so that the best possible outcomes can be realised.

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