How Will AI Affect Education?

January 4, 2018 - 4 minutes read

The development of Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a multitude of ways to reshape various facets of numerous industries. Education is no different. AI innovation will improve everything from classrooms and curriculums to learning itself.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Learning has been in flux for quite some time because of technological advances. But one aspect that has remained the same over the years is the one-size-fits-all approach to classes. According to a 2016 survey by Online Learning Consortium, over a quarter of students have taken an online class. This trend is expected to grow, and as we move into the age of AI, online courses will go from cookie-cutter experiences to customized lessons that allow students to optimize their learning.

Similarly, AI will also allow for the possibility of adaptive learning. This is already being done to some degree through tools like assessment software. But AI will build upon this concept to deliver individualized support for learners to improve their particular areas of weakness. In fact, there is already AI that takes into account a basic course syllabus and produces tailored resource materials for students! The products from the San Francisco developers of Clever are great examples.

New Ways to Learn

The effects of AI development will also trickle into traditional classrooms. It’s a challenge for teachers to keep the attention of thirty or so students for long periods of time. Combined with technologies like augmented reality (AR) and IoT development, AI will immerse students in unique, fun experiences that will be much more engaging than the standard textbook and powerpoint slides.

AI will also take the place of the teacher in some instances! Usually, the support that teachers can offer is limited to their office hours. Tutors are also limited in terms of subject matter and socioeconomic factors. AI tutors will make it possible and affordable for students to practice or study, no matter what time it is or what their financial situation is.

Improving Administrative Tasks

Of course, one area that those in the education field will be glad to hand over to AI is the cumbersome paperwork. Grading homework, tests, and papers can eat up hours of a teacher’s time. AI already takes care of fill-in-the-blank style and multiple choice tests. But it won’t be too long until it’s also taking care of written response work too.

Another area that will be greatly simplified is the admissions process for educational institutions. Besides cutting down a mountain of paperwork, AI chatbots and more immersive introductory materials will streamline the process for both students and administrators.

Making Education Intelligent

Unlike the common assumption about future technology, AI’s effect on education will happen sooner than you think. In fact, it’s already starting to! Just as education today is radically different from education 20 years ago, the near future of learning will also be a drastic departure from the current status quo.

That’s not a bad thing. In truth, you can only improve upon a tradition by breaking it. As humans, our versatile ability to learn is our defining trait. Refining this trait of humanity will lead to a better society overall. So, the moral of the story? Just like AI, never stop learning.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,