This interview is part of our new AI in Education series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and education.
In this interview, we speak with Dennis Gain, CEO of Smartsims Business Simulations, to understand how his company is using AI to transform education, and what the future of the education industry holds.
1. What's the story behind Smartsims? Why and how did you begin?
DG: The foundation of simulation-based learning is that we learn best by doing, so Smartsims' founder, Dr. Peter Mazany developed the initial concept for our MikesBikes Strategic Management simulation while completing his Ph.D. at Yale University. In 1992, he put together a team from the University of Auckland, comprising of researchers and consultants with the goal of developing a computerized simulation model.
Our company began because we wanted to provide students with an experiential learning environment, to bridge theories and concepts taught in class with real-life experience.
2. Please describe your use case and how Smartsims uses artificial intelligence:
DG: We have scenarios in our simulations that use robot competitors for online courses to replicate human competitors. This helps provide a similar experience to those students who are on campus.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has Smartsims done for them?
DG: We have a professor from the University of Auckland who has used our simulation for over 20 years. The use of the simulation in his course has provided students with a leading edge in job interviews and workplaces.
Through the students' experience in using business simulations, they are able to demonstrate working in team environments, exemplify an understanding of business problem-solving and fully represent themselves as capable professional candidates. A recent graduate who has used our simulation talks about their ability to work in a real team environment with confidence.