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Education industry 2017-12-02

Can artificial intelligence revolutionize the education industry

Artificial Intelligence is quickly going to change the way children are going to receive education in schools in India

By Uttara.J. Malhotra Feature writer

Augmenting of Artificial Intelligence is already affecting our lives in many ways. But it is going to change the way children are educated in India. Definitely, it is going to change the way we have learned our lessons in the classroom. 

Keeping up at ‘their’ pace
Traditionally, schools have always functioned using an approach where rote learning or one-kind-of-lecture-does-it-for-all approach. This kind of teaching has never taken into consideration the fact that all children may not take well to one method of teaching and may pick the same concept at their own unique pace.

Also, most Indian teachers are not equipped to indentify this different pace and fail to make happy learners. Here is when, Artificial Intelligence has come into play. For example, now you can use machine learning algorithms, where programs use ‘glean patterns from data and provide insights and suggestions, help teachers to find gaps in their teachings and point to where students are struggling with subject matter.’

Here Third Space Learning, an online math tutoring platform is actually exploring this concept. The company aims to create a platform that will give real-time feedback and helps online tutors become better at teaching.  “If we can aim to shape the performance of the teacher — the teacher being the significant input into a child’s learning — then you are actually creating something truly powerful,” says Tom Hooper, founder of Third Space Learning.

Another interesting use if Artificial Intelligence (AI) in teaching is when you can create AI based tutoring systems. Here, you can use big data and machine learning to provide personalised, supplemental guidance to students. ‘An AI tutoring system will present a core theory and monitor student responses to evaluation questions. The feedback will enable the system to determine the best path to follow toward the mastery of the subject. The use of AI-based tutors helps students adopt productive learning behaviors, such as self-regulation and self-explanation.’

Thinkster Math and Carnegie Learning are the noteworthy examples of intelligent tutor systems worth a mention.

Tutoring of a different kind
While we would want to depend on classroom setting and teaching, most of the students in India today, are totally dependent on private tutoring methods as well. So do many parents depend on this kind of knowledge dissemination, when they are not able to give personalised time to their children. Today, internet powered online services, students can now reach out to tutorial services anywhere in the globe. Now, with AI becoming a reality, getting remote help is becoming easier than ever before.  Brainly, is an example of a social network that has helped millions of students to seamlessly collaborate, bringing to fore the incredible power of AI on its platform itself. Brainly also uses Machine Learning algorithms to automate the filtering of spurious and low quality content, helping moderators focus more on providing quality services to learners. Yes, this social network actually uses an army of moderators that helps it vet and verify questions and answer users put on the same platform.

Customised Content for Learners
Time isn’t far when AI will aid as learning companions where they evolve as the children grow and their needs for knowledge change.

Rote learning will actually become a thing of the past. Unpill now, schools have be depending on a single kind of book for study for example for a class of 30-40 children per standard. Result is that all children are learning just the same thing, without any option of encouraging any brighter child to further learning, in the same set-up.

But with AI now, teachers and schools can create textbooks and exercises that can be customized to the specific needs of students. The technology is already in use abroad and in no time will be introduced to the Indian education market. Here, by leveraging Deep Learning, once educators import their syllabus and material into a cloud based system, a system will read and master the content, and finds new patterns. The formed algorithms then use the gained knowledge to create textbooks and classroom material based on the core concepts.  

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