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Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to a type of algorithms or computerized systems that resemble human mental processes of decision making. Drawing upon multidisciplinary literature that intersects AI, decision making, educational leadership, and policymaking, this position paper aims to examine promising applications and potential perils of AI in educational leaders’ data-informed decision making (DIDM). Endowed with ever-growing computational power and real-time data, highly scalable AI can increase efficiency and accuracy in leaders’ DIDM. However, misusing AI can have perilous effects on education stakeholders. Many lurking biases in current AI could be amplified. Of more concern, the moral values (e.g., fairness, equity, honesty, and doing no harm) we uphold might clash with using AI to make data-informed decisions. Further, missteps on the issues about data security and privacy could have a life-long impact on stakeholders. The article concludes with recommendations for educational leaders to leverage AI potential and minimize its negative consequences.


Accepted manuscript version of an article published by Elsevier in:

Wang, Y. (2020). When artificial intelligence meets educational leaders’ data-informed decision making: A cautionary tale. Studies in Educational Evaluation special issue on data informed decision making.