New Report Optimistic About Artificial Intelligence’s Potential in Education
AI found its roots in the classroom over 60 years ago. But soon, these complex systems will create a more robust, well-rounded education for the modern student.
Few business sectors have been left unaffected by the rise of artificial intelligence. Manufacturing, healthcare, finance, computer science, and countless other industries have benefitted from unique and exciting new applications of AI technology. Education is no exception — according to the 2016 Horizon Report from the New Media Consortium, the future of AI in schools and universities looks brighter than ever, thanks in large part to AI.
Taking Artificial Intelligence to School
Students are currently interacting with complex AI programs in K-12 classrooms around the world, often without them even realizing it. Adaptive learning platforms come embedded with algorithms that personalize instruction based on how each student responds to different prompts and questions. The more a student interacts with the platform, the more effective the system becomes at addressing student knowledge gaps through the use of machine learning.
The popular education tool Blackboard deploys AI systems through their quiz, test, and homework platforms that help identify concepts students are struggling to comprehend. Blackboard offers feedback to teachers based on the percentage of test-takers that missed particular essay, true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions. For instance, if three-quarters of a class got a specific question wrong and a majority of them chose the same incorrect response, the system might recommend removing the question from the graded portion of a test or counting it as extra credit for those that answered correctly.
The Future of Classroom AI
Despite some early classroom adoption, the use of AI in educational settings remains in its infancy. But experts are confident that as big data capabilities and computing power continue to grow in the coming years, AI will redefine education as we know it. “There is no doubt that AI will significantly influence what we teach and learn, as well as how we do it,” said Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser at Pearson. “The challenge is to ensure that it truly supports teachers, learners, and their parents.”
Chatbots are one form of AI that will likely gain significant traction in the near future. Bill Gates, long an active investor in the future of education, believes chatbots and other virtual assistants could soon be leveraged to help students master difficult concepts.
“You know, part of the reason I’m so willing to tackle new subjects is that for each of those subjects, if I get utterly confused, I know somebody I can send an email to, and they’ll straighten me out,” Gates said in an interview with The Verge. “The idea that you could talk to a [virtual] advisor that would understand different misconceptions and arbitrary linguistics around it, that’ll certainly come in the next decade.”
Advancements in natural language processing and image recognition will greatly improve AI research capabilities. Rather than poring over hundreds of pages of published work, students will soon be able to simply speak the concept they are looking for and have AI deliver the most relevant sources available on the topic. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have already developed complex search engines based on similar language processing capabilities.
Artificial Intelligence Already Making Waves in Marketing
As in education, AI will continue to transform the way humans work in industries across the economy. Some sectors, like marketing, already deploy AI to great effect. Albert™, the world’s first AI-driven marketing platform, assists marketers with everything from paid and unpaid media campaigns to accessing hyper-targeted audiences.
The technology frees marketing teams from hours spent manually crunching numbers and utilizes vast data sets to inform high-level business decisions. In the same way, AI has the power to relieve educators of the tedium of assessments so they can focus on creating engaging, high-impact lessons that meet their students’ specific needs.
To learn more about impact of AI on the marketing industry, download our recent study based on research findings from Forrester — AI: The Next Generation of Marketing.