An Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Curriculum for Middle School Students

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Topic/ Area

AI and Ethics

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Date released

August 2019

Type of Best Practice

Curriculum of plugged and unplugged activities

Partners/ network

Blakeley H. Payne
MIT Media Lab, Personal Robots Group directed by Cynthia Breazeal
United States

Description of the methods/ approach

The curriculum provides all the necessary teaching material to assist middle school teachers to teach about AI. The curriculum has activities, slides, worksheets and teacher guides. There are plugged and unplugged activities.


AI+ Ethics is a curriculum about Artificial Intelligence and developed to serve as an curriculum for middle school students. The curriculum contains multiple lessons that teaches children technical concepts and the ethical implications that correspond to this new technology.

Evaluation (results) of its effectiveness

The main learning objectives of the curriculum are: i) Understand basics of AI, ii) Understand that all technical systems are socio-technical systems, iii) Recognize there are many stakeholders in a socio-technical system iv) apply both technical understand of AI as knowledge about different stakeholders to determine a goal for socio-technical system, v) consider the impact of technology on the world (

Overview of the lessons learned which are relevant to the project

The Duolingo app, which was released in 2011 showed that “overall the average improvement in language abilities was 91.4 points and the improvement was statistically significant. The effectiveness measure showed that on average participants gained 8.1 points per one hour of study with Duolingo.” This shows the potential benefit that integrating technology, that is supported by effective AI, can have on improving the performance of students in language learning. These lessons can also be transferred to other curriculum subjects.


Additional notes

The materials are licensed as CC-BY-NC under creative commons. To acknowledge the creators, please include the text, ““An Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Curriculum for Middle School Students was created by Blakeley H. Payne with support from the MIT Media Lab Personal Robots Group, directed by Cynthia Breazeal.”


Available in English, Portuguese, German and Korean.