Opening education through emerging technology: What are the prospects? Public perceptions of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality in the classroom

James E. Katz, Kate K. Mays, Yiming Skylar Lei


Education technology (Edtech) is a booming industry based on its potential to transform education and learning outcomes. With concern over remote learning, there is renewed excitement about the visual component of Edtech, namely VR, along with artificial intelligence (AI), resulting in more significant investments and innovations. Despite industrial-scale investment in Edtech's diffusion, less is known about the public's view. The public's reception of these technologies, though, maybe necessary in determining the contours of their eventual utilization. Therefore, we conducted a mixed-methods analysis based on a survey of a representative sample of the US population (N=2,254) that explores perceptions of Edtech in two instantiations: AI and VR in education. Respondents were more accepting of VR as a teaching tool than AI taking on educational roles. Assistive AI was born over AI with decision-making responsibilities. Personality and experiential traits had an influence on respondents' openness to education technologies. The results suggest support for a blended model of AI and VR use in the classroom.

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