AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Learning Conference was held successfully on 18th-19th of November 2021.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Learning Conference was held successfully on 18th-19th of November 2021.

AI in learning conference webpage

AI in Learning Conference Book 2021

This conference was organized by AI in Learning Consortium led by the University of Helsinki, Finland. And it is funded by Business Finland.

The conference’s main theme is AI in Learning. Associated with the main theme, there are four sub-themes:

  • AI in Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning
  • AI in Games and Simulations
  • AI in Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) for Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
  • AI in Learning: Ethical Challenges and Solutions

We received more than 210 conference participant registrations. Conference participants were from 23 countries and over 87 affiliations from universities, educational companies, government organizations, etc.

At the conference, three distinguished international keynote speakers introduced new intelligent tools and environments in learning: how can AI be used in creative products of arts (Professor Hannu Toivonen from Finland), how AI can help students in math Learning with AI-based tutoring (Professor Lu from China), and how AI-based games can be constructed as narrative centered learning environment for learners’ engagement (Professor James Lester from U.S. A.).

We also had 43 abstract presentations from all overall the world addressing different aspects related to AI in Learning and education. The presentations gave a rich picture of multidisciplinary research and development about AI technology in learning and education. All abstracts of AI in Learning conference are gathered as a pdf book freely available. You may contact to receive this book.

The panel discussion, as well as the whole conference, gave a clear message that AI in Education and Learning is moving forward with current and future technological advancements, and needs much intensive multidisciplinary research with researchers, companies, and users.

Chair of AI in learning conference, Professor Hannele Niemi, put forward the message to conference participants: “Let’s assure the right for all people to access quality education throughout their life. AI and technology can be one crucial solution for this. To ensure quality education and access to quality education is a shared societal endeavor. We work together to shape the future.

See more conference highlights with recording videos on our conference webpage. Please feel free to share this information with your friends, colleagues, or anyone who is interested in AI technology used in learning and education.

Stay tuned for future updates from us, more materials on AI in Learning will be provided in the future.

Together we can achieve more!


Hannele Niemi, Chair of the conference,

Hannele Niemi

Ph.D., Professor, Research Director

UNESCO Chair on Educational Ecosystems for Equity and Quality of Learning

Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki




Location: International virtual conference, University of Helsinki

Conference web page and conference registration

Time: November 18-19, 2021
Organizer: AI in Learning Consortium led by University of Helsinki, Finland

We warmly welcome

Researchers, Companies, Policymakers, Teachers, School Leaders, and all users of Artificial Intelligent (AI)

– to share their research, innovations, reflections, experiences, and thoughts on how AI can change the learning landscapers and make learning more available and open to different learners.

The conference is a platform for sharing new solutions developed by researchers, companies, and users. We invite you to submit abstracts or proposals for
– Innovative practices and new solutions for learning
– Academic research papers

The conference has four sub-themes
– AI in Wellbeing and Lifelong Learning
– AI in Games and Simulations
– AI in Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) for Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
– AI in Learning: Ethical Challenges and Solutions

Important dates
– 7.6.2021 Deadline for submitting abstracts or other proposals (max. 250 words)
– 23.6.2021 Acceptance of abstracts and proposals will be informed
– 20.10.2021 Deadline for conference registration

The conference is free of charge for participating.

Artificial intelligence for the common good in educational ecosystems

Human ecosystems are affected and developed by human actions. AI places new demands on all parts and partners of the education system, hence we must be aware of the influence of different parts on the system. AI can become a common good, but this first requires urgent discussion between different partners on how power, rights, responsibilities, control, regulations and resources are negotiated and agreed upon in the system. AI must not increase inequalities and narrow knowledge. To avoid this, new governance is needed at global and local policy levels, and new analysis and design of curricula are required from the perspective of lifelong learning and values. AI learning environments also elicit questions on how human learners and communities will gain learning agency when machines are also learning. This sets new challenges to pedagogy. AI can serve as a powerful tool but it should be situated in a wider educational context to aim for sustainability and inclusive human and social development. sustainability and inclusive human and social development.

Read more from Professor Hannele Niemi’s article:
Niemi, H. (2020). Artificial intelligence for the common good in educational ecosystems. Humanistic futures of learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks (Sivut 148-152). Ediciones UNESCO.

Kasvatustieteen päivät 2020

Kasvatustieteen päivät 2020 conference was organised as an online event on 14.-16.12. 2020 by the University of Helsinki. The conference included a thematic group session coordinated by the researchers in AI in Learning project. The thematic group was entitled “Intelligent digital tools and learning environments in education and lifelong learning”.

On Tuesday, the thematic group included the following presentations:

  • AI and Learning: The ethical challenges and solutions of education technology companies (Päivi Kousa ja Hannele Niemi)
  • Supporting learners within immersive virtual reality: why and how to scaffold training with artificial intelligence? (Joakim Laine, Tiina Korhonen ja Kai Hakkarainen)

On Wednesday, the following presentations were heard in the session:

  • AI Supported Game-Based Learning: Mixed Methods Research on Emotions in Problem-Solving Processes (Heli Ruokamo, Marjaana Kangas, Hanna Vuojärvi, and Pekka Qvist)
  • Gaming in children’s foreign-language learning (Sari Ylinen, Katja Junttila, Anna-Riikka Smolander, Reima Karhila, and Mikko Kurimo)
  • Student teachers’ experiences of learning in simulated classroom cases (Anna Slotte and Kirsi Wallinheimo)
  • A Pedagogical Model for Artificial Intelligence in Simulation-based Language Learning in Bloom’s Taxonomy: systematic literature review (Fengyan He)

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute järjesti tekoälyyn ja oppimiseen liittyvän konferenssin 24.-25.11. 2020

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute järjesti AI in Learning -aiheisen verkkokonferenssin 24.–25.11. Tapahtuman toteutti Beijing Normal University.

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII) on yhteistyöverkosto, jota koordinoidaan Helsingin yliopistossa sekä Beijing Normal University:ssa. Mukana yhteistyössä on useita yliopistoja ja yrityksiä.

JoLII:n tavoitteena on yhdistää kiinalaisia ja suomalaisia tutkijoita, opettajia sekä yrityksiä sekä mahdollistaa yhteistyö korkealaatuisen oppimisen ja koulutuksen edistämiseksi kaikille ihmisille. Tarkoituksena on edistää osallistavia ja opiskelijalähtöisiä oppimisratkaisuja Kiinassa sekä Suomessa. Lisätietoa yhteistyöstä löydät täältä.

AI in Learning –verkkokonferenssissa kuultiin myös esityksiä AI in Learning -projektin tutkijoilta. Konferenssin teemoina olivat muun muassa tekoälyn käyttöön liittyvät eettiset haasteet sekä koneoppinen ja älykkäät opetusjärjestelmät.

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute Conference on AI in Learning (24.-25.11. 2020)

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute organised an online conference entitled AI in Learning on November 24–25, 2020 in Beijing Normal University.

Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLII) is coordinated by the University of Helsinki and Beijing Normal University. The institute is a network of ten Finnish universities and one company, together with seven Chinese universities, one society and two companies, which are engaged in research cooperation for future schools and high quality education.

The mission of JoLII is to get Chinese and Finnish researchers, teachers and companies to work together for high quality learning and education for all people. The shared vision of the parties is to establish the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute with the purpose to co-create inclusive, student-oriented learning solutions for future in China and Finland. More information about the collaboration can be found here.

The conference included presentations also from the members of our AI in Learning project. The themes of the conference included, among others, AI in education and learning–equity and ethics as big challenges, Ethical dilemmas in AI based learning environments from the perspective of educational technology companies, and Application of Machine Learning Methods in Intelligent Tutoring Systems.




AI in Learning project in Digitori event on 23.9.

The Digitori event organised in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at UH has highlighted interesting research related to digital technologies for a few years now. The autumn’s first online Digitori event featured researchers and business representatives also from the AI ​​in Learning project to talk about the research being carried out in the project. The event was attended by more than 50 participants. During the afternoon, interesting presentations related to artificial intelligence and augmented reality were heard.

The presentations related to AI in Learning project that were heard during the event are summarized below:

  • 14.10 Student wellbeing during remote study period: First measurement model and preliminary results, Mikko Kylväjä, creative director, School Day Finland, and Xin Tang, postdoctoral researcher, University of Helsinki
  • 14.40 AI in Learning: Games and Simulations, Heli Ruokamo, professor, Media Education Hub, Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Pekka Qvist, manager, UI and Usability Engineering, NAPCON, Neste Engineering Solutions Oy
  • 15.15 AI tutor -tutkimusta Iivari-laboratoriossa, Joakim Laine, VR-oppimisen tutkija, Kai Hakkarainen, professori, Tiina Korhonen, yliopistonlehtori, Innokas-verkoston johtaja, Helsingin yliopisto & Timo Lindqvist, Upknowledge
  • 15.45 Tekoäly ja oppiminen: Eettiset haasteet koulutuspalveluita tarjoavien yritysten näkökulmasta, Päivi Kousa, tutkijatohtori, hankkeen koordinaattori & Hannele Niemi, professori, hankkeen tieteellinen johtaja, Helsingin yliopisto

A new study about AI ethics and learning: Educational technology companies’ challenges and solutions

The aim of the study was to investigate the ethical challenges, solutions and needs faced by companies that provide AI assisted products and services for different levels of education. The companies’ challenges were related in particular to four areas: regulations, human and machine learning and society. According to the studied companies, AI regulations are difficult to understand and implement, and there are serious challenges concerning inequality, safety, trustworthiness and responsibility. When designing solutions for educational use, companies suggested that AI applications should be preventive, safe, understandable and equal. Sufficient and accessible education, global collaboration, multi-professional support and dialogue between different actors in society were also emphasised. The findings indicate that companies endeavour to develop ethically sustainable AI applications and tools for learning, but the task is extremely challenging. All in all, challenges cannot be overcome alone, but all parties in society need to work together.

Reference: Kousa, P. & Niemi, H. (2020). AI ethics and learning – educational technology companies’ challenges and solutions. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. (Submitted)

Abstract invitation to our theme group session in FERA 2020

FERA conference (Kasvatustieteen päivät) will be organised this year by the University of Helsinki. The conference will be held online 15.-16.12. As part of the conference, the research consortium AI in Learning organises a theme group session about artificial intelligence and digital learning environments. We invite you to submit an abstract proposal to the session! Call for papers opens on 31.8. and ends on 27.9.

You can find the description of our theme group session below. More information about the program and the theme group sessions can also be found here.

Intelligent digital tools and learning environments in education and life-long learning (Hannele Niemi, University of Helsinki & Heli Ruokamo, University of Lapland)

The research consortium AI in Learning (Artificial intelligence in Learning ) invites researchers, practitioners  and companies to share their research findings how artificial intelligence as well as other intelligent digital tools and learning environments can open new ways to promote learning in different kinds of educational and working life settings. The special interest areas are e.g. how  these tools will promote students’ learning, socio-emotional well-being and ways to life-long learning; and how intelligent tutoring, games and simulations can support learners to achieve demanding expert skills in education and working life. The presentations of the thematic group can also focus on ethical issues that are related to AI in learning and education. The aim of the thematic group is to provide a forum for multi-disciplinary discussion and to explore new opportunities and challenges of AI and other intelligent digital tools in learning and education.

Teacher Education Policy in Europe (TEPE) conference at the University of Helsinki, May 13–15, 2020

The theme of the 14th TEPE conference is sustainability and ethics in teacher education and education policy.  Urgent themes are how teacher education can provide solutions to global learning crises through teachers’ high-quality professional work and by creating sustainable learning opportunities for all learners. Read more

Artificial intelligence was also present in the conference. You can find Päivi Kousa’s presentation slides here.

During the three days, the conference hosted four eminent keynote speakers and their presentations are still available, any time – it’s all just a click away on the website of TEPE 2020!

 The whole conference book is also available.