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What Is The Current State Of Artificial Intelligence In Education?
7th August 2021 at 8:37am
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Artificial Intelligence in Education

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, particularly Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning are seeing a drastic increase in adoption recently. In addition to expecting the adoption rate to rise for at least the next five years, the market capitalisation is also forecasted to reach USD 3,683.5 million by 2023. These figures aside, what is most important about AI is the state of the actual technology.

AI is designed to learn and amass knowledge within a predetermined model. It is able to streamline processes in education like grading scripts or generating a student report. Here's a realistic breakdown of what you can expect from Artificial Intelligence in education now.

AI cannot socialise students into learning

To impart a culture of learning is to show someone various ways to seek new knowledge and skills. The most common learning culture would be to learn from someone more experienced. In almost every country in the world, that culture of learning would be to attend a school.

However, different societies have different societal norms. In Singapore, for example, once children are done with school, parents would most likely send their kids for extra lessons like learning how to play the piano or more academic ones like tuition. It is a norm where a student must have some form of the lesson after regular school hours. To be able to identify such societal behaviours as the norm is something that can only be imparted by another person.

AI cannot give students a sense of purpose

Knowing why we need to gain new knowledge or skills is another important factor in education that AI cannot impart to students. At every stage of a child’s education, even for adults, there is a purpose whether we realise it then or not. For example, at the age of three, a child would attend preschool to learn basic communication skills.

The purpose is to help them interact with other people and lay the foundation for future lessons. In primary school, the purpose of the lessons is to provide students with the breadth of knowledge so that they may pick the one they have an affinity with, and perhaps pursue it in the future. These are just examples of general purposes. Every student needs to find their own purpose for learning, and that, too, can only come from a human.

AI cannot provide moral support in times of need

When students know why they need to learn certain skills or knowledge, they would be more motivated to do so. But often things do not turn out the way they want them to. Students may hit a wall when it comes to understanding certain new concepts and might become frustrated when they fail to do so too many times.

Hearing such students out and offering them moral support is what teachers and parents are for. To be able to pick up nuances of frustration or sarcasm from the tone of voice, and then provide encouragement and solutions specific to a student’s needs is something AI has yet to accomplish.

AI cannot identify context and morals

Last but not least, AI cannot teach morals, neither can it identify bias. For subjects such as History and Literature, a student is required to understand the context of events, especially for events that are from a different time period. How people thought back then and what they believed in shaped their thoughts and caused them to make certain decisions, not within the realm of logic.

Such is the nature of bias. When a person truly believes in something, no amount of information can convince them otherwise. AI, which is impartial and devoid of emotion, cannot show students how to identify context and bias.

But what AI can do, it excels at doing.

AI excels in one particular area which happens to be part of any form of learning – the process. Geniebook understands that and found a way to harness the benefits of AI into our platform. We employ AI in almost all of our processes of learning. There are many things that AI can contribute to such as scheduling, grading, report generation and student profiling, just to name a few. We’ve used it in our tools to give students the full benefit of what AI can do to help them boost their learning.

But with all the vast amounts of information that AI provides, how do we turn it into something useful for both teachers and students. It is this innate ability that propels the growth and adoption of AI in education. Despite its shortcomings, AI has helped educators save a lot of time when it comes to doing administrative tasks, freeing their time up for teaching.

That is why heading into our GenieClass, you’ll see our teachers are smiling and passionate about the lesson delivery, as they’re n longer bogged down by the mundane tasks of marking MCQs, creating worksheets, or even learning the ability of each of the individual students. They now have the freedom to focus entirely on delivering lessons that keep students engage and excited to learn. Even though the state of AI at the moment has more room to grow, it has definitely found its place in education by balancing what can and cannot be automated.

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