Conceptualizing AI literacy: An exploratory review

Davy Tsz Kit NG, Jac Ka Lok LEUNG, Samuel Kai Wah CHU, Shen Maggie QIAO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has spread across industries (e.g., business, science, art, education) to enhance user experience, improve work efficiency, and create many future job opportunities. However, public understanding of AI technologies and how to define AI literacy is under-explored. This vision poses upcoming challenges for our next generation to learn about AI. On this note, an exploratory review was conducted to conceptualize the newly emerging concept “AI literacy”, in search for a sound theoretical foundation to define, teach and evaluate AI literacy. Grounded in literature on 30 existing peer-reviewed articles, this review proposed four aspects (i.e., know and understand, use and apply, evaluate and create, and ethical issues) for fostering AI literacy based on the adaptation of classic literacies. This study sheds light on the consolidated definition, teaching, and ethical concerns on AI literacy, establishing the groundwork for future research such as competency development and assessment criteria on AI literacy. Copyright © 2021 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100041
JournalComputers and Education: Artificial Intelligence
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Ng, D. T. K., Leung, J. K. L., Chu, S. K. W., & Qiao, M. S. (2021). Conceptualizing AI literacy: An exploratory review. Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 2. Retrieved from


  • AI literacy
  • AI learning and teaching
  • AI in education
  • AI ethics
  • AI literacy questionnaire


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptualizing AI literacy: An exploratory review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.