The deployment of intelligent systems in education, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), has revolutionised the way happens in classrooms. Read on...
In an age where technological advancements have surpassed human intelligence, the field of education has witnessed unimaginable breakthroughs and been completely transformed. The deployment of intelligent systems in education, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), has revolutionised the way happens in classrooms. The ability of these systems to mimic and simulate the higher cognitive functions displayed by humans have caught the imagination of educators worldwide.
To understand how AI is making inroads into the education sector, it is important to be clear about what exactly it is. Artificial Intelligence refers to the study of different methods that make it possible for machines to behave and think in the manner that humans do. These machines operate on algorithms that enable them to think intelligently and perform complex tasks, such as reasoning, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception and the ability to showcase emotional and social intelligence.
One will be amazed to learn about the latest developments in classrooms across the world. Recently, Eagle 2.0, a humanoid robot, delivered a lesson on thermal physics to eighth-graders at Indus International School, Bengaluru. Being India’s first-ever robot teacher, it is capable of working as a teacher assistant and answering student queries. Another interactive humanoid, Kasper, has been designed to help autistic children practise everyday interactions. Known as the social robot, it enables autistic children to interact with ease and improves their communication skills.
Besides robots, adaptive assessments powered by AI are also reconfiguring multiple aspects of students’ learning. Based on the Item Response and Knowledge Space theories, these assessments identify students’ abilities and knowledge states with more precision.
According to a discussion paper released by Niti Aayog, India’s national think tank, in 2018, education is one of the priority areas for AI intervention. In its report, it stated that AI can solve issues related to quality and access. These include augmenting and enhancing the learning experience through personalised learning, automating and expediting administrative tasks, and predicting school dropouts. It also circulated a cabinet note to invest Rs. 7,500 crore in the creation of a cloud computing platform called AIRAWAT (AI Research, Analytics and KnoWledge Assimilation PlaTform).
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) recently partnered with IBM technologies to introduce AI as an elective course for students of grades 9–12. In the initial phase of its implementation, students will undergo a five-stage training in hands-on activities, customised online resources and be a part of ideation and innovation workshops. The Board has also collaborated with Intel’s AI4 Youth initiative to introduce AI curriculum for students of grades 8–9.
No longer confined to innovation labs, AI is transforming the fields of agriculture, banking, defence, healthcare, and media. In the field of educational technology, it provides ample opportunities for entrepreneurs to build up their own AI startups. To name a few, Doxper, Embibe, FarEye, LogiNext, Niki.ai and Rubique, are making efforts to democratise the use of AI technology in India by focusing on such areas as conversational bots, speech recognition, machine learning and human-computer interfaces.
The changing scenario of Indian education and the growing demand for intelligent and interactive human-computer storing systems have necessitated the creation of a sustainable AI startup ecosystem in India. Schools in India are realising the need to collaborate with AI solution providers to gear up for the digital future. Many of them have begun offering AI-based project assignments to students and are incorporating maker-centred methods of teaching and learning. The government, too, is working towards building the future workforce for AI by providing financial resources for offering new courses in schools and universities, establishing research facilities and partnering with startups. These initiatives thus call for more active participation from edtech companies who are developing AI-based solutions to transform the educational scenario in the country.
This article is written by Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.