AI Education: Research and Practice – Cynthia Breazeal in conversation with Eric Klopfer

Boy sits playing on a tablet, along with a furry robot companion
December 08, 2020 4:00pm
Open Learning Talks

Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the way we learn, work, and live. From algorithms to smart devices to household robots, a generation of kids is growing up with their lives connected to, and influenced by, AI. Professor Cynthia Breazeal, head of the Personal Robots group at the MIT Media Lab, believes children should understand not only how AI works, but also how to design and use AI with a basis in ethics, inclusion, and empathy.

In this talk, Professor Breazeal will discuss how the Personal Robots group and AI Education at MIT work to innovate teaching and learning approaches to AI—including personalized learning companions for early childhood, AI and data literacy and privacy activities, and an AI + Ethics curriculum for middle schoolers. Through research projects, pedagogy, and hands-on resources, Breazeal will share how she and her team combine research and practice to help children flourish in the age of AI. Host Eric Klopfer, professor and director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and the Education Arcade at MIT, will lead a wide-ranging conversation and moderate questions from the audience.

This online talk is free and open to the public! Access this event on Zoom.

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Cynthia Breazeal


Cynthia Breazeal is a professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, where she founded and directs the Personal Robots group at the Media Lab. She is Associate Director for the Bridge: MIT Quest for Intelligence where she leads strategic initiatives in areas such a democratizing AI through K-12 and vocational education. Breazeal is a pioneer of social robotics and human robot interaction. Her recent work focuses on the theme of "living with AI" and understanding the long-term impact of social robots that can build relationships and provide personalized support as helpful companions in daily life. Her research group actively investigates social robots applied to education, pediatrics, health and wellness, and aging.

Eric Klopfer

Eric Klopfer is professor and director of the Scheller Teacher Education Program and the Education Arcade at MIT. He is also a co-faculty director for MIT’s J-WEL World Education Lab. His work uses a design-based research methodology to span the educational technology ecosystem, from design and development of new technologies to professional development and implementation. He is the co-author of the books Adventures in Modeling, The More We Know, and Resonant Games, as well as author of Augmented Learning. His lab has produced software and platforms used by millions of people, as well as online courses that have reached hundreds of thousands. Klopfer is also the co-founder and past President of the non-profit Learning Games Network.