“AI leads a new era of open education and lifelong learning” – WAIC 2022 Forum

On September 2, 2022, The Open Education and Lifelong Learning Forum “AI leads a new era of open education and lifelong learning” successfully ran in a hybrid mode in Shanghai. The event was organized by Shanghai Open University (SOU) and UNESCO IITE within the 2022 World Artificial Intelligence Conference.

Experts and scholars in the field of open lifelong education and artificial intelligence (AI) technology attended this international forum. They demonstrated new ideas, technologies, AI in use scenarios and explored new models of open education and lifelong learning in the future.

The Forum had appeared an important part of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC2022). The number of online visits exceeded 270000 in one day. Moreover, this event has also received the attention of many media.

At the opening ceremony Director of Shanghai Education Commission Mr. Wang Ping, Chair of Shanghai Open University Council Mr. Lou Junjiang, and Director of UNESCO IITE Mr. Zhan Tao welcomed the forum participants.

Mr. Wang Ping said Shanghai is deepening comprehensive education reform and establishing a national demonstration zone for this program.

Mr. Zhan Tao expressed that AI and digital transformation will lead the change in education, which requires the joint efforts and close cooperation between various sectors, as well as all countries in the world.

Mr. Lou Junjiang stated that Open Education and Lifelong Learning Forum is an important topic in the “Human Ecosphere Section” of WAIC2022.

Mr. Jia Wei, Vice Chair of the University Council and President of SOU, presented the theme of “Artificial Intelligence empowers lifelong learning new patterns”. He noted that SOU would continue to promote the integrative intelligent education platform for academic, non-academic and community education.

During the keynote speech stage, the experts in the field shared cutting-edge ideas and practical exploration, based on their researches and then put forward very enlightening thoughts and insights. The experts included the President of Wuhan University of Technology Mr. Yang Zongkai, Deputy Director of Shanghai Education Commission Mr. Ni Minjing, President of Shenzhen University Mr. Mao Junfa, Tenured Professor of East China Normal University Mr. Zhu Zhiting, Former Secretary General of the International Council for Distance Education Mr. Gard Titlestad, and Chief Executive Officer of the International Association for Technology in Education Mr. Richard Culatta.


In addition to the keynote speech, the key feature of the forum was the release of a number of UNESCO IITESOU collaboration projects, which were part of the project agreement on “Promoting ICT Capacity Building and Open Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies”. The project is scheduled for 2021-2023 and aims to support opening up of education in wider community of potential students and develop teacher capacities in using digital technologies.


In this regard, Programme Specialist of the Unit of Teacher Professional Development and Networking (UNESCO IITE) Mr. Oleg Akimov and Programme Specialist of the Unit of Digital Pedagogy and Learning Materials (UNESCO IITE) Ms. Tatiana Murovana together with the President of Shanghai Adult Education Association and Shanghai Normal University Ms. Yuan Wen, presented Analytical Report on the Use of Advanced ICT/AI for Digital Transformation of Education, Global Research Policy &Practices Report: Advancing Artificial Intelligence-Supported Global Digital Citizenship Education, and International training course “Artificial Intelligence and Digital Education Innovations for Teacher Development”.

Vice President of SOU, Mr. Wang Hong presided over the release of the metaverse technology application in open learning. Through the metaverse technology, the application realizes the functions of virtual and real coexistence of intelligent classroom, intelligent teaching assistant, virtual training and personal digital learning file, which creates a more situational and personalized new open teaching environment.

The Forum provided an opportunity to discuss the implications and the transformative potential of AI on education. It added research experience, application scenarios and learning effects to the application of digital intelligence in open education development. In addition, according to the specific technical achievements and application cases, new educational application scenarios were sought to better match the increasing requirements of open education and improve the convenience and universality of AI and other technologies in the field of open education.