To Be fAIr: Ethical and Fair Application of Artificial Intelligence in Virtual Laboratories

F. Caccavale*, C. L. Gargalo, K. V. Gernaey, U. Krühne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In 1984, the film “The Terminator” predicted that a hostile Artificial Intelligence (AI) will threaten to extinguish humankind by 2029. Even though the real present is quite far from this post-apocalyptic scenario where AI rebels against its creator, a growing concern about the lack of ethical considerations in the use of AI is rapidly spreading, leading to the current “ethics crisis”. The lack of clear regulations is even more alarming considering that AI is becoming an integral part of new educational platforms. This follows the wave of digital transformation mainly induced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with advances in digitalization strategies, and the COVID-19 crisis, which forced education institutions worldwide to switch to e-learning. The appeal of AI is its potential to answer the needs of both educators and learners. For example, it can provide help grading assignments, enable tutoring opportunities, develop smart content, personalize and ultimately boost on-line learning. Although the “AI revolution” has great potential to improve and boost digital education, there are no clear regulations in place to ensure an ethical and fair use of AI. Therefore, this work aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current concerns regarding fairness, accountability, transparency and ethics in AI applied to education, with specific focus on virtual laboratories. The main aspects that this work aims to discuss, and provide possible suggestions for, are: (i) ethical concerns, fairness, bias, equity, and inclusion; (ii) data transparency and digital rights, including data availability, collection, and protection; and, (iii) collaborative approach between disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings
EditorsHannu-Matti Jarvinen, Santiago Silvestre, Ariadna Llorens, Balazs Vince Nagy
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
Publication date2022
ISBN (Electronic)9788412322262
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSEFI Annual Conference 2022 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19 Sept 202222 Sept 2022
Conference number: 50


ConferenceSEFI Annual Conference 2022
Internet address


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Digital Education
  • Ethics
  • Virtual Labs


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