Press release 09/2023

Web event: AI in the Classroom – Ethical Questions on ChatGPT and Similar Applications

Applications of generative artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT are increasingly making their way into classrooms posing new challenges for the school system. In an online event on 13 December, the German Ethics Council discusses with two external experts how AI can be used wisely in schools. The audience is cordially invited to join the discussion.

AI systems can now effortlessly write meaningful texts, answer complex questions, create images, and do much more. How can teachers assess whether and how AI has helped pupils with their homework or other graded tasks? In what areas can the use of such tools support educational processes, and when might it hinder learning success or creativity? How can a sensible approach to generative AI be taught and put into practice in schools? On 13 December, the German Ethics Council discusses applications, risks and opportunities of AI in education with two external experts.

“We should take a closer look particularly at the use of AI in schools,” says Judith Simon, member of the German Ethics Council and Professor for Ethics in Information Technology at the University of Hamburg. She was the spokesperson for the working group that prepared the recent Opinion on “Humans and Machines – Challenges of Artificial Intelligence”, which also examines the field of education in detail. “School is not just about acquiring or using knowledge, but also about personal development and social interaction amongst the younger generation.”

“The key question for an ethical evaluation is whether human authorship and the conditions for responsible action are expanded or diminished by the use of AI,” emphasises Alena Buyx, Chair of the German Ethics Council. “For instance, with AI we can respond much more individually to the potential for development and learning of pupils. It can play a sensible role in remote learning and inclusion. However, there are also potential application scenarios that are not beneficial or even lead to the loss of important skills. We need to analyse this carefully.”

After a thematic introduction and an ethical assessment by Elisabeth Gräb-Schmidt and Judith Simon (both members of the German Ethics Council), Doris Weßels from Kiel University of Applied Sciences will address the question: What can ChatGPT and similar applications do – and what can’t they do? Felicitas Macgilchrist from Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg then discusses how schools are reacting to the new offerings and how they are using them. The audience is cordially invited to join the ensuing online discussion.

Web event
AI in the Classroom – Ethical Questions on ChatGPT and Similar Applications
13 December 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Online at:

A registration is not required. The event will be held in German. After the event, a video recording and a transcript (both in German) will be available on the German Ethics Council’s website. The event will be accompanied in German sign language and subtitled live.

More information on the topic and about the programme can be found at