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The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Education

When talking about the uses of AI in the education process, the possibilities are endless and, from that perspective at least, we’re living astonishing days. Starting with a boost of efficiency and all the way down to raising interest in fields like IT, programming or computer science. So, are you ready to welcome Artificial Intelligence in a classroom near you?

Use for AI in Education

Just like computers, smartphone or the internet itself, AI will modify the function and face of education, its core ‘why, what and how?’ Many students will have robot TA’s instead of human ones that will be sharper in answering their queries, rate their assignments or set-up a meeting.

Recent estimations show that the use of AI in the educational field is expected to grow up to a mind-blowing 47.5% by 2021. That sounds like a huge percent, however, we have to take into consideration the fact that, right now, there are only a few schools, colleges and universities that are experimenting with AI for their courses. And out of all the areas of education where AI can be most efficient, creating adaptive learning features to create a personalized learning experience for each student, is the one where AI seems to be best fitted. Using a simple input, Artificial Intelligence can get to work, assembling narratives for students regarding job applications, their upcoming jobs or simply on proper ways on getting there.

Embracing AI in the Classroom

Already, major education technology providers started adding key elements of machine learning into the tools they offer. Microsoft and IBM, for example, can offer tools that assist students in quite complex tasks. Watson Analytics from IBM can answer a wide range of question from a previously uploaded data set. Also, the smart search function from Google in its education apps is a good example of AI that aids students. Being a lot more user-friendly, it allows students to access the explore function in Sheets to input complex formulas without the need to type anything in.

Moving on to the little guys, we have the example of Professor Einstein, a bot designed to teach kids about science through funny facial expressions and a hilarious German accent. Another good example in the field of AI aided learning is the solution offered by Elemental Path, CogniToys. We’re talking about an array of smart dinosaurs that will play games with your kid, engage in conversations and help them with spelling. Plus, there are a lot of similar projects on fundraising platforms like Kickstarter, all waiting for a chance to make the world a better place.

More About the Student – AI - Teacher Partnership

The engagement between the AI and the student will follow an ascending trend. So, as the student moves up through the school system, educational toys controlled by AI will get replaced by AI tutors with the goal of identifying points of weakness and aid with the additional training in order to overcome them.

Teachers that will no longer have to worry about time-consuming tasks like grading papers, will be able to focus on other, more important aspects of the education process, like coming up with good argumentative essay topics for future papers. We already have AI like Wolfram Alpha that can solve complex math equations and receive queries in language so integrating it into an automated grading system should be quite easy to achieve.

Following the progressive trend of collaboration between AI and students in different stages of their education process, by the time they get to a university, they should already be represented by two instances of intelligence. The first one is the actual human student that enrolled in the university and his or her brain, and the other one will be represented by their learning assistant. An AI that the student developed over the course of recent years to become the perfect AI learning partner. Of course, the university itself will have AI helping in various fields, from teacher assistants in the classroom, helpers designed to improve the activity at the enrollment office or even to play the role of academic counselors.

Can AI Be Used to Make Education More Accessible?

Of course! Besides its multiple uses in the conventional education system that we approached in the article above, AI can be applied in a lot of projects that have the goal to make education a lot more accessible for a wider range of people. The main focus is on developing regions, of course, where teachers are hard to find or need to travel long distances in order to get to the school. Here, a well-thought and implemented AI system can be used to teach the students and limit the need of a human educator.

This final idea brings us to what seems to be the conclusions of every article on AI and its uses, the ethical aspects. There are a lot questions, especially regarding the data collected by these AI systems, who will have access to it, or who will own it. These questions are yet to be answered, but even so, AI and its implications make it worth the challenge to try and answer them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Nelson

Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+.

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