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What Benefits Will AI Bring To Education? 19 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 29 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

We're always looking for ways to help our kids learn better, especially in the tech distraction age. And while we know that there are always challenges to implementing new tech, if AI can help kids find personalized learning styles, it may just be worth the price. These industry pros have weighed the potential benefits of AI in education and shared their thoughts. Here's what they said:

1. Dan Ayoub, General Manager for MicrosoftEducation

“With AI, we’re seeing the potential of collective intelligence – when human and machine come together to work more efficiently. Using AI to make better-informed decisions is by far the #1 benefit to educational institutions.

Schools are using AI to do everything from identifying potential dropouts to answering student questions online using AI-powered bots. Many colleges and universities are also using AI and data analytics to help them improve graduation and student satisfaction scores, tracking the progress of students through graduation and gain feedback on how they can improve their academic experience at the university.”


2. Paul Mumma, CEO of Cerego

“Teachers, of all kinds and at various levels, are constantly limited on time. From lesson planning to assignment building and grading, teachers have hundreds of things a day on their to-do lists – and that’s beyond the scope of actual instruction and teaching. By bringing AI into education, teachers can alleviate themselves of the tasks able to be completed by technology, freeing up additional time for student engagement. Content creation is one place where AI can be used to benefit teachers immensely. Instead of spending hours creating study sets, AI and other predictive technologies can help teachers quickly build content for their students. When teachers spend less time doing tasks that can be simplified with AI, they have more time for individual instruction with students, ultimately improving learner outcomes.”


3. Sergey Karayev, Head of AI for STEM at Turnitin

“Right now, the best set of materials for a given subject can be made freely (or cheaply) available online, with text, exercises, and video lectures. Millions of learners all over the world–including those in most remote and underserved regions–can read and watch online courses. This is one half of the promise to bring Internet-scale education to the world, and its potential is amazing. However, if any of these students have questions or if they want their knowledge assessed, they are out of luck. There are not enough instructors or time to do any formal assessment of this freestyle kind of learning. This means these motivated learners who take initiative into their own hands cannot benefit from their efforts. There is no way to acknowledge their work. This is the other half of the promise, which has not yet been fulfilled. Artificial Intelligence is the only technology (or human powered initiative) that can fulfill this second half of the promise by providing free (or cheap), instant, and accurate answers to questions and assessment of knowledge.”


4.Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of Mindvalley

“Above all else, A.I. is expanding our access to information and strategically connecting us to one another. Through A.I. applications we can receive any knowledge we need on-demand, whether it’s the answer to a mathematical equation or a crowd-sourced perspective on philosophy. At Mindvalley specifically, we focus on personal growth and are experimenting with A.I. to bring together like minded individuals pursuing a higher education. When you can create A.I. that connects people based on what they want to learn and who they want to be, that's a big win for civilization.”


5. Jennifer Jones, Ph.D., CEO of Green Ivy Schools

“The upside of this AI wave in education will be that when properly implemented, AI can liberate talented teachers who have been chained to test prep, or provide the kind of support a teacher needs to properly differentiate curriculum across learner styles and pathways.”


6. Franz Chen, CEO of Ponddy Education

“AI enables the delivery of deeply personalized and customized learning for individual students, delivered in smaller classes (3-4 students) aligned with those student’s abilities and learning styles. Adaptive and dynamic curriculum can instantly be created saving teacher’s preparation time and enabling students to create their own curriculum. Grading can be automated, saving teachers from repetitive tasks while enabling dynamic feedback that can inform their instruction.  Learning can be more engaging with gamified assessments and real-time metrics for students.”


7. Jiajia Zhang, Product Manager at Gooroo

“For students, AI makes personalized learning possible. They can learn at their own pace with a personalized curriculum so that they can spend more time on what they truly need help with, and less on the concepts that they already have a good grasp of.

For educators, AI saves them from the tremendous time spent on grading homework and tests, analyzing students’ performance, and even coming up with teaching plans.”

 


8. Chris Nicholson, CEO of Skymind

“As machines get smarter, we want people to get smarter too. Applying AI to education is one way to do that. There are not enough teachers to give every child the attention they deserve, but algorithms can help the teachers we have to extend the attention they can pay to students, especially students who are struggling. By tracking and supporting those students, AI has the potential to raise the level of education, and success in education, across the board.”


9. Viola Lam, founder and CEO of Find Solution Ai

Teachers are very busy along with the heavy workload and long working hours. They have to spend a lot of time analyzing the performance of students, grading exams, assessing homework and providing valuable feedback, as well as handling administrative work. Therefore, it is difficult for them to achieve a “one-on-one” effect or focus on each student. 

With the help of AI, teachers' teaching time is fully utilized as AI has multiple functions, such as tracking student progress, organizing reports for teachers' reference, adjusting teaching progress, and providing personalized assistance according to student needs. AI can be used to automate time-consuming activities such as task grading so that teachers would have more time with students to deliver more on individual feedbacks and guidance rather than spending long hours grading them. The learning efficiency is thus improved by frequent interaction between teachers and students.”


10. Martin Basiri, Co-Founder and CEO of ApplyBoard

There are two key benefits AI brings to education: accessibility and quality of education. Robot teachers, personalized programs and courses, and accurate measurements of skill and knowledge increase the overall quality of education by catering to students’ unique needs, skills, and interests.

Further, companies like ApplyBoard implement AI into their service platform to increase the accessibility of quality education for those who can’t typically access it due to challenges that range from financial restrictions and language barriers to lack of knowledge on international programs. The data analytics in ApplyBoard’s platform matches students to a list of highly correlated schools and programs based on a series of questions they answer prior to. Further, the platform assists students in finding the most relevant information in a fraction of time, saving them in cost and missed opportunities.”


11. Dee Kanejiya, founder and CEO of Cognii

AI’s primary benefits to education is in improving the quality, affordability, and scalability. In order to prepare humanity better for the future, high-quality education should be easily affordable and accessible to all. Correct implementation of AI in education can significantly enhance its core processes – teaching and learning –  to offer personalized education to all.”


12. Tom Livne, CEO and co-founder of Verbit

The worldwide reach of smart technology has brought about a new age of on-demand education. Given this shift, it’s clear that digital technologies are the key to unlocking exciting possibilities and disrupt the very nature of higher education. Students benefit from more compelling learning experiences, while administrators and educators see continuously improving results. AI-based technology for education is able to lower schools’ costs, shorten processes and shrink the academic gap between students with disabilities – including blindness, hearing impairment, other physical disabilities and learning disorders – and their peers.”


13. Bill Salak, CTO at Brainly

“In the short term, the #1 tangible benefit will be supplementation to traditional classroom learning through systems with limited personalization and adaption of content.

Allowing myself to be a bit more abstract about this topic, I think the #1 benefit is a renewed interest and awareness education systems and their outcomes. As interest and awareness grows, and as the industry continues to focus on education as an opportunity, we can expect meaningful change and improvement in our education systems led by technology and more specifically the application of AI-based solutions.”


14. Joe Caprio, VP of Sales at Chorus.ai

Artificial intelligence can help support students by providing high-level tools that enhance their learning experience. Once students graduate, they are going to expect the same or better best-of-breed technology to be present. By introducing to them to technology, like AI, early in their education can help them properly prepare for real-life scenarios they may face in the future.”


15. Mike Dierken, CTO at Varsity Tutors

“AI in education can bring a personalized experience that is hard to replicate in person. No one learns the same way, and online learning – especially live, online tutoring – helps students learn at their own pace, record a session to go back and watch later, and get answers in real time. All the while, data captured will provide historical insight into the students’ learning and will adjust and adapt for future sessions. Knowing a student's preferences and past behavior can apply a much more accurate recommendation for teaching them quickly and in a way that they learn best.”


16. Tom D'Amico, Associate Director of Education for the Ottawa Catholic School Board

“The number one benefit or potential benefit of AI is a movement towards true universal access for all students regardless of their geographic location and making curriculum accessible to all regardless of their particular accommodation needs.”

 


17. David Lee, Chief Operating Officer at Kastling Group

“Curated education that saves time is the biggest benefit. Time is our biggest constraint, and by using personalized data to curate education will help us learn more and achieve more.”

 

 


18. Andreas Oranje, General Manager at Educational Testing Service

“It's still unclear as to what benefit AI has brought or will bring to education. It has the potential to possibly bring better insight into student learning and as a smarter motivator and engager of students within the classroom, including making use of responsiveness, interactivity, and getting what you need when you need it.”


19. Alain Goudey, Chief Digital Officer at Neoma Business School

Concerning the learning process, AI can bring two things. The first one is that AI can fully customize the learning process. If you have a good databased knowledge of the students, you can adapt the learning curve (repetitions, new concepts, etc.) but you can also adapt the content in terms of difficulty level or in terms of modality (video instead of text or text instead of pictures, etc.). AI allows you to take into account the 21 cognitive profiles of learning. 

The second way AI can enhance pedagogy concerns is because AI gives you the opportunity to dig into a wide range of content and to shape that content to the perfect needs of the student. If students have time, they may want to go deep into the content to get a 360° mastering of the topic. On the contrary, they may also only need to simply check a specific point and will, therefore, have the choice to target their learning much faster. In this perspective, AI can also be a nice tool to help students revise. Thanks to short assessments, you can drive them to the right piece of information that is not yet well understood.”

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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