What Can AI Do For Education?

AI In Education

“The fact is that given the challenges we face; education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed.” – Ken Robinson, Author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

AI in every facet of life

Artificial Intelligence has made huge strides across nearly every facet of life. Deep learning has been used to help improve cancer diagnosis rates, develop real-time translation tools, and train auto-pilot features on self-driving cars.

AI chat-bots are currently revolutionizing customer service, and voice operated smart-assistants and smart-homes are becoming more accurate and reliable. So why is it that technology has lagged so far behind the rest of the world. There may have been some changes in the classroom, such as the addition of interactive whiteboards, and the inclusion of IT classes. Yet the principles of teaching have remained the same for centuries – the teacher stands at the front and explains everything to the class. However, now there are technologies emerging that could revolutionize the way that the next generation will be taught.

Where deep learning has been applied to fields like trading stocks to understand the nuances of each individual trade and potential market fluctuations, imagine that technology applied to education. When combined with the interconnected world that we all live in, big data analytics could quickly understand how an individual student learns and new innovations and discoveries of new techniques can be shared nationally, or even globally.

To that end Intelligent Tutor Systems have been developed to supplement a teacher’s work; so rather than tutor each student individually, the teacher can help to explain the significance of what the children are learning. Rather than focus on the how or the what, teachers can help students understand the why – something that is severely lacking in today’s education system. These Intelligent Tutor Systems are able to track the “mental steps” of the student during problem solving tasks in order to diagnose misconceptions and estimate their level of understanding. Big data analytics is already exceeding human levels of pattern recognition in medical fields, so why not allow that intelligence to better educate the future generations?

Providing guidance, hints, feedback, explanations & more

The system is also capable of providing guidance, hints, feedback, and explanations to the student to help them understand problematic areas. Perhaps most impressively, the system is able to prescribe tasks that fit the level of understand of the user, and adjust them accordingly as the student learns and develops their knowledge and understanding.

 

But AI assisted teaching is not the only way that education could be revolutionized by deep learning technology. One of the most time consuming activities for teachers is grading and marking tests, and automation already exists today that could mark and grade multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank tests to allow teachers to spend more time on preparing lessons and helping their students, rather than simply marking papers. That said, the technology to mark essays and longer test answers isn’t quite there yet, although Stanford have had reasonable success in attempting to develop a Machine Learning program that marks essays from grades 8-10.

However, there have been some suggestions that this sort of grading could produce apathy amongst students, and potentially less innovation and thought with their work. When students know that their work won’t be read by a human, they are likely to have less desire to impress, as it is simply being fed into a machine. They cited automated marking being used in high-schools, and how it has become unpopular amongst many students. Perhaps this is a sign that AI cannot be used to supplement education, or perhaps marking essays is just too far a stretch for more nuanced topics, unless the AI is a general intelligence capable of human level thought.

AI chat bots and automated phone services were highly unpopular at first, but as they improved and became more integrated and accepted as the norm the public grew to be more amicable towards the systems. The question remains, will AI be able to supplement teachers to improve education? Or is education a more personal experience that cannot be imitated by technology? Ultimately as the technology improves there is no doubt it will be utilized, but it remains to be seen as to the extent to which it is adopted.

By Josh Hamilton

Al Castle E911

Businesses Need E911 for Remote Employees

E911 for Remote Employees Remote working is no longer a luxury or a distant possibility – it’s the norm for enterprises around the world. The “trend” of telecommuting is not new; for example, the number ...
Darach Beirne

Take Control of Telecom by Being Your Own Carrier

Being Your Own Carrier Departments and organizations of all sizes and across all industries are transitioning away from traditional hardware IT systems and embracing SaaS-based cloud offerings. The global pandemic has spurred greater cloud adoption, ...
Business Voip

Cloud Governance Best Practices & How “Legacy Governance” Hurts

Cloud Governance Best Practices The cloud can provide your organization with substantial benefits -- if you adopt an effective cloud governance model. Businesses established before the cloud era (or those that took their IT governance ...
Gary Bernstein

5 Notable Proxy Servers Adding That Extra Layer Of Privacy

What’s A Proxy Server? A proxy server is a gateway between the user and the internet. This is an intermediary server that separates end users from the websites they browse. It’s completely legal to use ...
Bruce Guptill

Resolving IT-Finance Asynchronization on Cloud Improvements

Resolving IT-Finance Asynchronization While CIO-CFO communications and alignment may never seem better, what is considered to be C-level, strategic “alignment” increasingly obscures realities that keep IT and Finance from synchronizing their thinking and activity. This ...
Scott Leatherman

Speeding up Digital Transformation During the Pandemic – 7 Steps to Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud

7 Steps to Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud The pressure for IT leaders to support more workloads and remote staff with limited resources is as contagious as the pandemic. The most powerful tool in their ...