Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the ways in which we interact with the world. It is slowly fitting into the tiny cervices of our everyday life (via our devices, public transport, ID’s, healthcare, ads, education and more). You must have heard the term IoT (Internet of Things) repeatedly. AI is greatly enhancing efficiency, creating groundbreaking possibilities, a reason for philosophical debate and undeniably shaping our present as well as the future. If not directly, then indirectly most people on the planet have felt the ripples of artificial intelligence in their life.
This blog is on AI in learning and the future of education. Artificial Intelligence is an invention through which machines and software mimic the functionality of a human brain, recreating cognitive actions such as learning through repetitive ‘experience’, identifying patterns, and problem-solving. Therefore, it feels only intuitive and reasonable to congruently supplement human learning through the application of AI. Here are some ways in which AI is effectively being used in learning right now:
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Personalized Learning through Analytics
A subset of AI is Machine Learning (ML). ML is a process through which vast amounts of information and data is fed into a system. The information is then analyzed to get information and can be applied in a variety of ways. Through ML and analytics in learning, a tremendous number of innovative possibilities open. The dataset of every learner is unique therefore the potential to personalize their learning experience is huge. This can happen in the form of individualized course materials, assessments, and feedback. Or even course suggestions and areas of interest based on initial interactions with a platform. This would be a much-needed alternative to the conventional one-size-fits all form of education. There is potential to encourage engagement and catalyze productivity.
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Gamification and marking individual progress through variables such as ‘XP’ or ‘Levelling Up’ is an enticing way to encourage students. Assessments can made fun for learners through gamification. When the World Health Organization has announced that Gaming can be a disorder, how then can elements of gaming be useful to society? Watch our short video on Gamification in learning to know more:
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Where can you find Teaching Assistants
AI in its early days became capable of language recognition and understanding. This can be employed in the form interactive chat-bot administrators which are perpetually available to assist and respond to student queries and/or administrative actions. This will leverage interactions between teachers/professors and students to be more focused on subject-matter related queries. AI in higher education can also act as an assistant to the professor. Georgia Tech University has been using AI teaching assistants in their online course on Knowledge-Based Artificial Intelligence (KBAI) course.
Artificial Intelligence has massive potential to make learning more accessible to learners with disabilities. The potential for diagnosing undetected learning disabilities through education analytics is also an option. Microsoft’s Seeing App is a prime example of how artificial intelligence can help differently-abled people. Artificially generated captions are another example of increasing accessibility.
Content Creation and Analytical Moderation
Planning, reviewing, and finalizing course content from sources and experts is one of the most time-consuming processes within the sphere of digital education. AI can cut down the time for this by preparing and going through vast amount of data on the internet in order to narrow down resources.
Additionally, AI can be employed to add external resources, links, and further reading material to pre-existing content. Content creation is a complex task requiring a diverse set of skills and varied areas of expertise. AI cannot replace people (at this point in time!) but can greatly speed up content aggregation and creation.
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Now that you know a little bit more about artificial intelligence and its numerous advantages, let’s talk about some disadvantages. Like everything else, AI has both pros and cons.
Some cons include:
- A potential loss of information – AI is liable to need repair at some point (just like your hard drive sometimes does), and losing monumental amounts of information that has been built over decades could enormously harm general progress,
- AI will also predictably widen the gap between the poor and the rich, given that not every student lives in a country whose government is able to make tablets, smartphones or computers accessible to thousands of children,
- AI can stimulate and enhance addiction to technology, leading to isolation, loneliness, and emotional fatigue,
- POWER: with AI, there are two kinds of power to be worried about. The first is electrical power, a non-renewable and expensive resource, not all states can afford to use freely. The second kind of power is the power of information. AI learns by absorbing the information it receives and stores, this information is technically accessible to hackers or already powerful corrupt individuals. The protection of information must be tightened and prioritised as we move into an increasingly tech-driven world.
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However, it is a given that the benefits of AI (if balanced correctly against the downsides) could revolutionize education. Transcend borders and physical boundaries in a manner unseen as of today.
We are yet to discover much of what is in store when it comes to learning analytics and the advantages of AI in personal learning. Building our boats with information, caution, curiosity, and critique should ensure smooth sailing in this sea of rapid technological advancement and learning.
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