AI in Education | How AI is making education better and smarter

2020.03.26

Sooi Yung

PERSPECTIVES

Imagine getting help that’s infinitely patient and that lets you learn at your own pace, adapting to the ways you learn best. Imagine methods that use data gathered along the way to constantly adjust on the fly.

That’s exactly the sorts of innovation that’s becoming possible through the power of artificial intelligence. Sure, rudimentary AI and machine learning methods have been used in various ways for some time, but only recently have methods become supple and intelligent enough to deal with all the unstructured data that makes up so much of life, whether it’s a complex hypothetical question, a school essay, or just a statement or explanation that doesn’t fit into a standard multiple-choice format.


AI marking

One of the most impressive of these uses for AI is for marking essays. Although short-form writing remains one of the best and most time-tested ways for students to practice and hone their skills, grading them can often take teachers so long that their effectiveness is blunted.

Being able to grade an essay is far beyond the capabilities of ordinary machine learning, which needs more structure to work. Today’s AI can also learn how to grade by reading and analysing language data and help it understand how a skilled teacher grades. In that way, the AI is able to constantly improve its skills and more closely match those of a human grader, while providing genuinely useful feedback.

Through pattern recognition and real-time feed, AI can also be applied to “read” the most personal kinds of writing: printing and handwriting. Its accuracy only gets better the more writing it sees.


Hyper personalised learning

Another impressive use of AI is in providing hyper personalised learning to students. Instead of just going by grade level, such smart content uses AI along with learning algorithms and real-time data to address the topics a student has shown the most interest in, or the ones in which he or she needs the most help with. As the New York Times put it about the application Bakpax, in use at a school in New Jersey, it can “adapt to the student’s performance as the student interacts with the system.


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Study virtual assistants

Chatbots are another powerful way that help students learn. Bots can play the role of a study partner, a scheduling interface, or a dashboard to make sure projects stay on track. Since AI takes account of context as well as the words itself, it can help applications understand more complex sentences, instead of just working with glorified multiple-choice options. The experimental QuizBot, for instance, can handle requests for clarifications, and provide hints on demand. Crucially, it also recognises near misses (including typos), and proffers both guidance and encouraging words in a humanlike, conversational style. Click here to download our Converse whitepaper solution e-book to know on how our TAIGER humanistic virtual assistant helps reduce customer service costs and increase customer satisfaction.


Enhanced learning through interactivity

AI is also helping improve interactivity, whether through learning drills, tests whose questions change as you take them, or augmented reality simulations that take advantage of a students’ actual surroundings to help them learn. For instance, the Virtuali-Tee is a special T-shirt that works with augmented reality and a tablet or smartphone to demonstrate how various anatomy functions work, right on a student subject. And a Google app, Expeditions, uses AR to bring into the classroom a world of sights, whether zoological (a shark, a beehive), architectural (the Lighthouse of Alexandria), or astronomical (the asteroid belt).


AI is already enhancing many aspects of education. Its future possibilities are huge, and with rising demand and expectation for both teachers and students to teach and learn better, the education industry will continue to expect AI to fill the gap and augment both the teaching and learning experiences.

“The world is already making full use of AI in Education industry so all students have the right to purposeful learning. “

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