Cultivating Conversations: Welcome to the EngageAI Nexus

By Carly Chillmon and Jeremy Rochelle

Key Ideas:

  • Our Nexus aims to build two-way engagement about the future of teaching and learning between the Engage AI team and educational practitioners, researchers, leaders, developers, innovators, and more. 
  • We emphasize a metaphor of conversation in our Nexus activities to promote community building and engagement.
  • We will host interactive events that ignite conversation around artificial intelligence and education, aiming to enable collective progress on the issues we all care most about.

The Engage AI Institute’s mission is to produce transformative advances in STEM teaching and learning with AI-driven narrative-centered learning environments. The Engage AI Institute aims to involve both an internal team and an external community. We are calling our hub for conversations a “Nexus,” building on the definition of a nexus as a series of connections between two things. In this case, we envision a series of connections among the internal team of Engage AI and the external community of educational practitioners, researchers, leaders, developers, innovators, and more. We want to hear from you and welcome your feedback to share your thoughts and interests: what are the conversations you really want to participate in? 

Below, we share some of our initial plans to Build CommunityFoster Conversations, and Facilitate Knowledge Sharing.

Building Community

“Conversation” has been chosen as a key metaphor for the Nexus because it links with the “narrative-centered” theme of our Institute.  We want to build community with those interested in the role of storytelling in learning, and especially those who seek to envision how AI can enable powerful learning centered within narratives. We want to explore learning across settings, such as schools and museums. We want our community to unearth and debate the equity and ethical issues that surround AI and narrative-centered learning: whose stories are being told? We also want to understand how to shape foundational AI advances to be responsive to our vision; these may be advances in generative AI, natural language processing, image recognition, dialogue management and more. 

Fostering Conversation

A focus on conversations will drive our work toward mutual engagement rather than one-way dissemination. As we launch our Nexus, we are featuring additional blog posts and podcast episodes, each of which has a conversational format. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these blogs and podcasts. And as we go forward, we will be hosting interactive events with a conversational theme. These interactive events will bring community members together to discuss visionary ideas and pressing issues. For example, we are planning future listening sessions, webinars, and roundtable-based discussions, as well as occasional face-to-face summits. The Institute will also seek to develop “explainers” of the key concepts or issues so that newcomers can more fully participate in conversations. From these “conversations,” we hope to learn the rising issues around AI and education and the desired tools and resources that community members want and need. 

Facilitating Knowledge Sharing

From Twitter to our webpages, the Nexus will emphasize the overall goals of the Institute with an intentional focus on ethical AI. We are concerned with ethics both in how we work as a research Institute and with regard to the technologies we develop. We also want to share your relevant news and will re-tweet community news and share community-favorite readings.  

Let the Conversations Begin!

Our blog launches with “The Engage AI Institute Kickoff Conversations” series. Featuring members of the Institute, we share who we are, our goals, and vision. We’re excited to begin this conversation journey with you and look forward to our collaboration!