AI in education: can it raise us up or will it divide us further?

Online panel discussion & Q&A

20 March 2024
Zoom and livestream

Following the publication of CPP’s paper by Roger Taylor, AI in education: can it raise us up or will it divide us further?, which explores the opportunities, risks and barriers to new technology within the education system, we were joined online by an expert panel to discuss how AI in education can help reduce educational disadvantage.

This Centre for Progressive Policy’s lunchtime webinar brought together speakers with different experiences to discuss how changes in policy and practice in education, training, and employment might help achieve a fairer and more inclusive system for all.


  • Roger Taylor, Inaugural Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation
  • Rose Luckin, Founder and CEO EDUCATE Ventures Research
  • William Power, Head of Maths, Oxford University Press
  • Kruakae Pothong, LSE Visiting Fellow
  • Rosie Fogden, Director of Research & Analysis, Centre for Progressive Policy (Chair)
  • Ross Mudie, Senior Research Analyst, Centre for Progressive Policy

Low educational attainment underpins entrenched inequalities and economic disadvantage in deprived communities in the UK. This results in lost human potential, lost productivity and a weakened economy. Impeded social mobility from economic disadvantage also contributes to political polarisation and social division.

Technology has often been seen as a way to break this pattern by increasing access to high quality education, reducing educational inequalities and raising living standards. However, the history of educational technologies (EdTech) has been disappointing with patchy evidence and inconsistent uptake. Advances in generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) have, with good reason, renewed hopes that technology can improve education systems, for ALL students and educators.

During this 45 minute webinar speakers reflected on the following points:

  1. Why and how should personalised AI-tutoring tools best be adopted throughout the school education system?
  2. Teacher trust: how do we make the teacher, machine and pupil work in practice, for the benefit of everyone?
  3. How can AI be used to personalise and integrate government services that help people with careers advice, life-long learning and finding work?

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Event speakers

Roger Taylor

Inaugural Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

Roger has worked as an entrepreneur, a regulator and a writer. He was inaugural Chair, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (2018-21), advising the UK government on AI and data policy; Chair, Ofqual, the qualifications regulator; National Advisor on Intelligence to the Care Quality Commission; co-founder, Dr Foster, which pioneered the use of public data to provide independent ratings of healthcare; correspondent, Financial Times in the UK and the US. Author of two books: 'God Bless the NHS' (Faber & Faber 2014) and 'Transparency and the Open Society' (Policy Press 2016).

Rose Luckin

Professor of Learner Centered Design, UCL Knowledge Lab & Founder/CEO EDUCATE Ventures Research

Rosemary (Rose) Luckin is Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab, and Founder of Educate Ventures Research (EVR). She has spent over 30 years developing and studying AI for Education. Her research involves the design and evaluation of educational technology, with a particular interest in how AI techniques can be used for more effective assessment processes and tools. Her book, Machine Learning and Human Intelligence: The Future of Education for the 21stCentury (2018), considers how we can best benefit from using AI to support teaching and learning, and how the prevalence of AI in our future means that we need to revise what and how we teach and learn now. Rose regularly provides expert evidence to parliamentary policymakers and select committees.

William Power

Head of Maths, Oxford University Press

Will is OUP’s UK Head of Maths and leads on the development of maths resources across primary, secondary and early years. He is currently exploring the ways AI can inform and enhance teaching and learning resources to increase impact equitably. Before joining OUP Will worked in challenging primary and secondary schools in East London and Oxford and was most recently head teacher in Blackbird Leys, Oxford, taking it from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ (Ofsted, 2022). He has worked as a Specialist Leader in Education and Maths Mastery Specialist and has supported schools in India in his role as Associate of Adhyayan Quality Education Foundation.

Kruakae Pothong

LSE Visiting Fellow

Dr Kruakae Pothong is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a former researcher at the 5Rights Foundation. Her current research focuses on AI in education, children’s education data and child-centred design of digital services. Her broader research interests span the areas of human-computer interaction, digital ethics, data protection and internet policies.

Rosie Fogden

Director of Research & Analysis, Centre for Progressive Policy

Rosie joined CPP in 2019 as a Senior Research Analyst and now manages our research programme. She has written on the importance of long-term investment in public services and the role of business in making our economy more inclusive, including through good jobs. Before CPP, Rosie worked as a Senior Economist in the Cabinet Office, supporting Brexit preparations. She has also held several other government positions, including in the international group at HM Treasury.

Ross Mudie

Senior Research Analyst, Centre for Progressive Policy

Ross is CPP's Senior Research Analyst with interests in local economic growth and devolution, and developing policy ideas to reduce inequalities and strengthen the economic security of people and places. He previously worked in local government researching and developing policy around housing and homelessness, and was most recently a research assistant at United Nations University-MERIT, where he holds a Double MSc in Public Policy and Human Development, along with Maastricht University.