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Athens students explain how to put ethics into AI at PACE hearing – with some help from ‘Niki’

Humanoid AI robot Niki

PACE held a hearing on “exploring AI in schools” during its spring plenary session, in which students from the American Community Schools in Athens presented their project for exploring ethics in AI by designing and building a humanoid robot called “Niki”.

The school’s President Peggy Pelonis told parliamentarians that the aim was to encourage young people to “go beyond the fears of how Artificial Intelligence can hurt humanity or be an evil that will ‘destroy the world’, and instead, with the right mindset, to embrace or even initiate change, through an ethical lens. This will lead the next generation to be problem solvers, critical thinkers and innovators, rather than victims of technological change.”

Adrianos Botsios, part of the team that created “Niki”, said there were two main benefits to having hands-on experience: “The first is the ability for students to explore the unknown ‘black box’, and learn how the AI algorithms work, and create their own algorithms based on something that they want to find a solution to. And the second, is to do it ethically. This is what ‘Conscious Citizenship’ is all about in our school.

Kristian Bartholin, the Head of the Digital Development Unit at the Council of Europe, described the organisation’s work in the field of AI.

Students from the Oberkirch Gymnasium in Germany also took part in the hearing.

Students from the American International School in Athens presenting their AI project
Assembly members and PACE Secretary General Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis follow the hearing
PACE's hearing on exploring AI in schools
Niki, the AI humanoid at the hearing