Sign in / Join

Is AI a wedge for privatisation and commodification in education?

Clarote & AI4Media / Better Images of AI / Power/Profit / CC-BY 4.0

Last week Open AI released their GPTs store. According to OpenAI more than 3 million custom GPTs are created and claim analysis shows that the the GPT Store currently contains 159.000 public GPTs. According to OpenAI more than 3 million custom GPTs are created.The store provides a space where these GPTs, which span categories like writing, research, programming, education, and lifestyle, can be found and accessed.

Its hard to get more accurate data than this - which came not from Open AI, but from SEO.AI, which I found through a Google search. But there appear to be many apps devoted to education.

Beyond the growing concern over copyright with Large Language Models, some commentators are pointing to the lack of convincing use cases for Generative AI. Companies are said to be worried about the reliability of information from large language models. Equally the willingness to use stand alone platforms to access AI is being questioned. It my be that the new GPTs apps will assuage these concerns although early reports of the blossoming of virtual girlfriends on the App Store do not give confidence. But I wonder if the AI companies are increasingly viewing education as one of if not the main markets fro Generative AI. And it is more likely that AI will be accessed through existing educational platform and through Google and Microsoft, than through stand alone AI platforms.

The danger then is that the increasing use of AI will only hasten the growing commodification of education. It is hardly controversial to view technology as a wedge for commodification and privatisation , but at least in most European countries education has remained public. But will this continue. And how much influence will educationalist have on the development of AI. In an interview last year Helen Beetham pointed to the need for educational researchers and developers to be working with AI, pointing out that AI in education req hires an interdisciplinary approach and that the costs development require cooperation between different institutions, organisations and agencies.

Feature image

The feature image Power/Profit by Clarote & AI4Media features corporate power and profit sustained through exploitation, control and domination, lying in the hands of a few decision-making profiteers who are mostly white, and mostly men.

Leave a reply