What’s The State Of AI In Education? 16 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 29 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

Modern technology has made its way into most classrooms of the developed world. But AI is still relatively new, and while its future in academia is bright, we wanted to find out what its role in education is today.

These industry insiders shared their viewpoints on the state of AI in education. Here's what they said:

1. Dan Ayoub, General Manager for Microsoft Education

“It’s an incredible time of growth and possibility in the world of Artificial Intelligence. AI is helping industries find new efficiencies and savings while also creating millions of new jobs.

The latest Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum predicts that AI may lead to a net increase of 58 million jobs globally by 2022 so we are just at the beginning of seeing what’s possible. While the educational institutions using AI are still few and far between, these early adopters are seeing tremendous results and their case studies are inspiring others to follow their lead. Like other industrial revolutions before it, it will take time, but the potential is incredibly promising.” 

2. Vishen Lakhiani, CEO of Mindvalley

I’ve recently seen a number of companies using A.I. to help students complete their homework or to make recommendations on what classes they should be taking. I would argue that this is still a very narrow application of A.I., and that we will see expanded use of the technology across the education sector as teachers and students become more familiar with its capabilities.”

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

The education industry is becoming more convenient and personalized because of AI development. This has changed the way people learn since educational materials are becoming accessible with electronic devices. Today, students can study at home with computers and internet connection instead of attending physical classes. Also, AI allows the automation of administrative tasks, allowing teachers to minimize the time required to complete tasks so that they can spend more quality time with students.”

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

The education industry is slowly adopting AI as a technology and is one of the last industries to do so. Through adaptation, AI will positively impact the education industry by introducing new teaching and learning solutions for students, educators, and institutions from delivery and content to enablement. Two primary areas on impact are personalized education and content and measurement tools.”

5. Bill Salak, CTO at Brainly

“AI in the education industry is in a similar state as many other industries. That is to say, it is in a very early phase, it is greatly hyped, and it is liberally, and often incorrectly, applied as a descriptor or capability of a product or system in order to get attention.

However, the potential of AI in education cannot be overstated. When I imagine how AI might change education in the future, it makes clear just how early we are in adoption and meaningful use of AI in education, and draws an even starker contrast between reality and the marketing speak.”

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

“AI has been an emerging trend in K-12 for several years now. AI has been readily accessible for automation of tasks such as grading, administrative tasks and other operational efficiencies but now is moving more towards a focus on student achievement.”

7. Franz Chen, CEO of Ponddy Education

AI not only enables new ways to teach – but new ways to learn. One of the challenges facing AI in education is the fundamental question, are today’s teachers equipped to teach using AI technology and to teach about AI?

Some schools have adopted blended learning and flipped classrooms integrating AI technology.  Blended learning programs combine traditional classrooms with a portion of the day to online or virtual instruction.  The blended instruction can be asynchronous with students working through content that is online or online classes where students engage with an instructor in a 1-on-1 or 1-on-3 small class situation. 

In a flipped classroom model students take more ownership in their learning as they use AI tools to study content independently at home. AI enables real-time analytics to track student progress for instant feedback for both the student and the teacher. These metrics can be used to immediately inform instruction.”

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

The rise of sophisticated technology has propelled a sea of change in higher education. In recent years, online learning and multimedia have become mainstays of the educational landscape. To support this new model, technology has expanded to include learning tools, like learning management systems, video hosting platforms, in-class response systems, tablets, smartphones, and more. The learning process increasingly relies on audiovisual materials, making transcription and captioning technology essential for student success.

As technology advances, education organizations expect it to drive results for the educational process and student outcomes. That’s where AI comes in. One of the leading ways AI is impacting the industry is around predictive analytics. If the data warehouse, that houses every data point around students in general, and each individual student specifically, can be farmed, then predictive modeling can be established to guide students in their academic choices. In turn, this enables the institution to know what needs to be provided in order for students to succeed.”

9. Paul Mumma, CEO of Cerego

“Adaptive and personalized learning are becoming more prevalent in traditional education and workplace training due to the increasing demands placed upon students and employees. With the pace of education speeding up in both sectors, educators recognize the importance of effective education, specifically learning quickly and for the long-term. Adaptive learning platforms use digital tools that customize learning activities to each user, enabling every person to learn to the best of their abilities. By harnessing adaptive learning platforms in K12 and higher education, students can meet the increasing demands placed upon them, learning information faster, and retaining it for longer.”

10. Jiajia Zhang, Product Manager at Gooroo

“AI has made personalized learning possible for students today. We’ve seen companies building software that creates personalized lesson plans based on the student's learning performance, but mostly as a consumer product adopted by progressive and tech-savvy parents and used outside the class. For most schools, teaching is still based on a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Teacher relays the same information to the whole class regardless of individual progress.”

11. Dee Kanejiya, founder and CEO of Cognii

AI is currently being actively utilized in the education industry across the spectrum from K-12 to higher education and even in corporate training. AI is used to improve the efficiency and quality of teaching, learning, assessments, data analytics, tutoring, personalization, adaptive content recommendation, admission guidance, orientation, student support etc.”


12. Chris Nicholson, CEO of Skymind

“AI is starting to touch education and ed-tech in lots of ways, but adoption is not widespread yet. It's very early stages, but there are signs in the US and abroad that AI in education is gathering momentum and can really affect student outcomes.”


13. Andreas Oranje, General Manager at Educational Testing Service

“AI in the education sector is in the very early days. There are many opportunities, room for experimentation, unknown investment, and limited understanding of the consequences generally. For technology developed outside of education (e.g., scheduling software or Google suite applications), we see some more mature uptick in the frequency of adoption.”

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

“To understand the role of AI in education, we must look at the big picture. Data is king. The choices we make when we Google, inform the world’s data collectors about what we know and want to know.  They channel resources to deliver answers to our questions. Think of AI as the new educational engine, and we are the fuel. Populating AI with our questions, sometimes with answers, and increasingly with what we upload.

Perhaps no other industry will be impacted quite as deeply by AI as education, and yet, most professionals in the field would struggle to explain it to you. It is possible that education professionals will never quite know what has hit them, even after AI has become a fully pervasive force in the field. But in short, AI will be the key emerging technology that has widespread transformative influence on the way we educate, particularly in American public schools.”

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

With education today, students have unlimited access to technology. AI and education are working together in tandem to help enhance a student’s learning experience. As AI continues to grow in popularity, universities are seeing the value and are integrating it more into their curriculum.

For example, Dr. Howard Dover, director of the Center for Professional Sales at UT Dallas saw Chorus.ai as a solution to record his student’s sales calls, video conferences and role-plays. Chorus.ai transcribes those recordings in real-time and analyzes the conversations to provide useful tips to the students to help make improvements.”

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

Concerning AI in Education, there are two dimensions. The first one concerns AI as a topic of learning. Here you have worldwide several nice curricula to go deep into data-based optimizations, machine learning, and other AI-related topics on a technical point of view (engineer schools or universities). In terms of business education (in business schools), it remains too weak as there are few AI-related initiatives, either in terms of research or learning. 

However, Business Schools have to teach AI to future managers as every managerial jobs are going to be (or are already) impacted by AI from finance to marketing, or HR to supply chain management. Even artists or journalists are impacted by AI technology! Therefore, the AI technological wave has tremendous potential for disruption as far as jobs, skills, organizations, and businesses are challenged by this technology.

The second-dimension deals more with the use of AI technology as a tool for education. The technology can be used to augment the efficiency of pedagogy or to better run the school. At NEOMA Business School (France), we are exploring how to use AI to teach French as a foreign language with the EdTech Company Frello (accelerated in the accelerator of the school and founded by alumni).”

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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.