Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are touching our lives in many ways –from smart cars to virtual personal assistants like Siri and Cortana, games like Call of Duty, Facebook’s photo tagging suggestions based on facial recognition to recommendations on Netflix – we have seen it all. AI has been a boon to the healthcare industry by providing assistance to doctors, improving healthcare processes and treating patients more effectively. The BFSI space too has embraced AI to automate data analysis and reporting, detect frauds, and serve customers better with the help of intelligent chat-bots.
The potential of AI in the field of education is yet to be tapped completely. Recently the US-based IT services provider HTC Global announced its plans to expand into the Indian educational space with its AI-powered recommendation engine and student services. HTC Global’s recommendation engine suggests courses and electives based on their utility during placements and also the student’s caliber and interest. By venturing into the student services space, the company looks forward to ease out the tedious admission process.
AI and Machine Learning based facial recognition software can be used for attendance tracking. The software “learns” over time and is able to map the faces of the students with their respective names or student IDs.
The “one size fits all” approach is one of the major drawbacks of traditional classroom programs – and teachers cannot do much about it. It is difficult to understand the needs of 40-50 students in the class and provide personalized coaching while also looking into a ton of other school activities. AI has stepped in to address this issue effectively by introducing adaptive learning software – it facilitates custom-tailored education by responding to the needs of each individual and taking into account their grasping power and degree of understanding.
Third Space Learning has been providing one-to-one mathematics tutoring online, connecting students with teachers from all over the world. It uses Big Data and Analytics to provide real-time feedback to teachers about how the concepts taught have been received, if they’ve missed out on or need to stress more on any particular topic, etc. Teachers also get a clear picture of each student’s performance, strengths, and weaknesses, thus helping them address the gaps present in education early on. Third Space Learning employs AI to find positive teaching and learning patterns. The company’s goal is to create a platform that helps online tutors become better at teaching.
The social network Brainly that helps millions of students collaborate is now exploring the power of AI on its platform. Brainly has been using AI and Machine Learning algorithms to curate content, automate the filtering of low quality or spam content, and personalize its platform's networking features.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) help students “feel” the content rather than simply learn it. By being able to watch the wrecks of the Titanic or the Harappan civilization or the planets in space through multi-dimensional lenses, students feel more involved and learn better. Benefits of AR and VR include enhanced engagement and improved retention.
Natural Language Generation, a subset of AI, has changed the way student performance reports are presented. Subject-wise grades in a tabular format can be now complemented by intelligent narratives, which explain the student’s performance in a comprehensible manner, point out areas that need improvement and also provide subject recommendations based on the student’s academic profile and personality type. Companies like vPhrase are making this possible with their augmented analytics tool Phrazor. The fast pace at which AI is gaining traction in education sure heralds a promising future.