Feb 05, 2018

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Giant Leap in Education

We all are aware of the impact that technology has made in our learning spaces in recent years with MOOCs like Coursera and Udemy making education more adaptive, accessible, and affordable. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education Landscape, we are looking at an age of personalized automation promoting productive learning behaviors.

Think of Intelligent One-on-One Tutoring Systems like Carnegie Learning or Third Space Learning which, using AI technology, customize learning based on the unique needs of an individual rather than following a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Imagine these Intelligent Tutoring Systems becoming commonplace.

Think of Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel’s AI teaching assistant Jill Watson. A chatbot that he had created to reduce the workload of his other teaching assistants and his students couldn’t distinguish from the human TAs until the end of the semester. What if these intelligent teaching assistants became just another technology that almost all of us had access to, like the internet and computers. The learners will have access to help whenever they require it without the teachers having to work extra hours.

Think of an educational landscape where AI learning companions are as common as smartphones. AI learning companions which are more advanced versions of Tega (MIT’s social robot), designed to accompany a student through his entire academic life cycle, learning what he learns, supporting him when he lags behind, helping him whenever he requires it, keeping a check on his food habits, encouraging him to exercise.

While learning companions are yet to become a reality, AI as a technology in our educational organizations is gaining traction at an unprecedented pace. AI and EdTech might not resolve all our systemic challenges but they are certain to help us bridge some glaring gaps in our teaching, learning, and support methods.