Three years ago, I watched an educational video of my favorite artist, Richard Williams, better known as Prince EA.
In the video “I sued the school system!!!“, he outlined the shortcomings of the current educational system and criticized its slow changes, as we still follow the way Aristole and Confucius taught their students thousands of years ago.
As we can see, there is basically no difference in organization and how the system works. Well, after going through three industrial revolutions, we can send humans to the Moon, but the classrooms remain unchanged.
At the time of watching the video, I strongly agreed with this point, but now, I change my point of view in the matter. We couldn’t denied the effect of technology, especially the 4th industrial revolution, on education at the moment, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world.
Virtual classes and online courses
Virtual classes has replaced traditional classes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to students. In addition, we also witness the rise of such video conferencing apps as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and online learning platforms.
Online learning actually started about 10 years ago with extremely famous platforms around the world.
It is an old story of obsolete technologies that are unintentionally brought back to life by this unprecedented pandemic. With the rapid development of technology and the rise of artificial intelligence, what changes could we expect in education?
Could Artificial Intelligence change education?
We have to admit that AI in particular or the development of technology in general has changed some industries and how we live forever, from the way we watch movies, shopping, drive cars to medical treatment and run business. And I believe, in the near future, AI will also change the way we teach and learn.
Previously, we had virtual classes where people from all over the world can join in, and platforms that support remote teaching and learning. Now, AI can automate certain stages of education, such as scoring multiple-choice tests. Computer Vision can completely replace humans in this process, minimize errors, increase marking productivity and personalize student learning experience.
Having said that, “You cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree.”
A good education system should help learners discover and develop their own talents, by recommending and building a suitable learning program for learners. You just need to fill in your personal information, hobbies and interests, and AI will suggest your subjects, majors, even career orientation, like how Netflix and Tiktok recommends movies and videos for you. You definitely will be addicted to these platforms like Netflix and Tiktok!
Plus, just like how Netflix works, AI can rely on reviews on existing content to assess new shows coming out, and even create content solely for each user.
In the near future, I believe AI can change the role of teacher in classes. Teachers can remotely support students through online chat, but they cannot support all students at the same time, and students have to wait their turn.
A smart virtual assistant can solve this problem, AI can become the private tutor and counselor for tens or hundreds of students at the same time. However, if students need thorough explanation, could AI answer it? The answer is yes and no.
With Natural Language Processing (NLP), the Recommender System or Question Answering System is not possible now, but with the development of the technology called Explainable AI, AI can explain its recommendation well. It’s possible to imagine an intelligent virtual like “Her” in real life, where there is an “assistant” who can understands human’s thoughts and feelings and make a user fall in love with her.
Artificial intelligence has several applications in education, but the things I’ve mentioned above are the most typical, intuitive ones. It is forecasted that the Artificial Intelligence market in US education will grow dramatically with a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 47.77% in the years 2018 and 2020. Meanwhile, according to research by CBI Insight, a company specializing in market research in New York, the frequency of AI transactions in education was low in 2016.
A future full of opportunities for Artificial Intelligence in the education sector is ahead. We look forward to a modern, smart education system in the fourth industrial revolution.
Is it just the theory and prediction?
Of course not, the aforementioned technologies have appeared as commercial products in the market. Artificial intelligence machines will be our teachers. For example, Elsa, an English teaching application with more than 7,000,000 users, is powered by voice recognition technology to maximize English potential and learning process of learners.
Another AI-based platform is Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), a technology developed by McGraw-Hill Education, measures students’ knowledge through an entrance test and personalizes a specific Maths and Science learning plan for them.
Such platforms as Thinkster Math, Whizz Education, Third Space Learning, or Carnegie Learning ‘s Cognitive Tutor are also some of the prominent AI-powered learning platforms. On the plus side, such technologies are being used to evaluate and personalize learning route for more than 100,000 students around the world.
Especially, you can learn about data science, artificial intelligence by an AI ”teacher” in Korbit, a company affiliated with the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms of Professor Yoshua Bengio, one of the fathers of the industry.
It is clear that AI not only an online tutors but also the most influential technology in the world. In the future, the power of AI will be stronger and more radical. Let’s look forward to a revolution in education in the near future!
Nguyen Vo Thanh Khang – FPT Software