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Tech News – X-Prize winner: Children are not a product


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X-Prize winner: Children are not a product

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Media captionWATCH: Andrew Ashe won the global learning X-Prize

The winner of Elon Musk’s global learning X-Prize award says children should not become the “product” of large data-gathering companies.

Andrew Ashe is a former teacher and the chief executive of UK-based learning software company onebillion.org.

In May, the company won $5m (£3.95m) when it was named joint winner of the global learning X-Prize, which challenged teams to teach literacy and numeracy to unsupervised children using tablet computers.

Mr Ashe told the BBC he feared some of the biggest tech companies were seeking to harvest and monetise children’s learning data.


His not-for-profit organisation is looking for financial backers to expand quickly, in order to help children who do not have access to education.

The UN estimates that about 250 million children do not have access to schools.

Mr Ashe said he knew several companies wanted to use children’s learning data for commercial purposes.

He said the education technology sector should put the interests of children first.

See more on BBC Click, Saturday 22 June on the BBC News Channel and on BBC iPlayer

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