Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the realm of science fiction. AI is quickly becoming a powerful new technology and is set to disrupt any sector that deals with large amounts of data, and education is no different. The academic world is still considered one of the most human sectors — the most human of the humanities — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which teachers and school workers can benefit from implementing artificial intelligence.
Just like any other industry, teachers deal with a huge amount of admin, and they are often having to spread their finite time between an ever-growing student body. As a result, the quality and relevance of education is becoming difficult to maintain. Luckily, AI is perfectly placed to support teachers in menial tasks, personalize learning and even produce lesson content. Here are a few ways in which AI is revolutionizing the education system.
One hotly debated topic is using AI to produce educational content. Declan Zepala, an AI expert at Coursework Writing, explains that “AI technology has progressed to the point that they can create educational material for some subjects at a similar quality to human writers. By creating video content and writing textbook exercises, AI can help standardize learning across schools and teachers can spend more time nurturing students in ways AI can’t.”
However, there are some who believe this approach removes the humanity of educational material. Teaching material is frequently created by educators, people who understand and appreciate students. AI technology might be able to technically fulfill all the requirements of standardized testing, but they cannot create content that is sympathetic with human students. Let’s focus on using AI as a supplement to educators, not as a replacement of them.
Just like AI is currently used to personalize shopping selections on Amazon and movie recommendations on Netflix, similar technology can be used to personalize educational content to suit individual learners. Traditional curriculums are necessarily based on appealing to the majority of students, meaning they have to compromise in some areas when it comes to content and methodology. AI, on the other hand, can be set to learn from an individual student’s feedback and tailor assignments and even exams to suit their strengths.
Making Admin Easier
AI is designed to make repetitive tasks easier, and for the education sector that means administration. There is a huge amount of time spent grading homework and papers that can be automated with the use of AI, giving teachers more time to focus on the real work of teaching. There is even work being done to build programs that can assess essays.
Beyond the direct teaching of students, AI can be implemented into school infrastructure to improve efficiency. Schools could easily benefit from the technology being developed for smart cities. Once given access, the possibilities of improving the placement and flow of students are endless, from automated seat allocation to traffic management to manage movement between classes. Classrooms could be atmosphere controlled with the use of temperature and humidity sensors, and stock management AI can pre-order supplies when running low, making sure a school is never without pencils or cafeteria food.
One of the biggest advantages of AI is its international capabilities. An AI system is not limited to a nation’s borders, meaning the same system can be installed in schools around the world. Not only does this improve efficiency in more locations, but access to larger amounts of data will actually help improve the AI’s performance.
While there’s still some reticence towards implementing AI across schools, the technology certainly shows promise for improving efficiency and personalizing education. As our population continues to grow our schools will grow too, and at a certain point the amount of students will make the personal touches that have defined education for older generations a logistical impossibility. Maybe, by introducing AI technology, we can alleviate some of the work and make our way back to better, more human education.
The article 5 Ways AI is Changing Education by Beatrix Potter first appeared on Innovation & Tech Today.