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Over the past few years, machine learning applications have managed to enter every aspect of life: speech recognition to social media, coding to customer service, retail to radiology, route optimization to robotics and more. One of the major advancements that demand mention is the role of AI in education and learning.
For the last 40 years or so, we told computers what to do. However, with the advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning and faster processing chips, we can now feed giant data sets to computers and they are able to draw some inferences (though in narrow slivers) on their own.
Artificial Intelligence is making revolutionary changes with digital learning solutions that introduce a novel approach to imparting education to students with varied capabilities and interests.
What is AI?
The word ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is hardwired to the imagery of massive machines working in a sci-fi setup, a byproduct of the fictitious imagery created during childhood. However, on deep diving into science, Artificial Intelligence is an advanced form of an algorithm that empowers machines to imitate human behaviour in real-life situations.
In the present day of technological advancement, there is barely any field left untouched by Artificial Intelligence in some form or the other.
Market size of the AI Industry
According to the estimates done by the business analyst firm Gartner, the total business value of AI is to reach over $3.9 trillion in the next five years. The year 2018 alone brought the value to about $1.2 trillion which is 70% above what was collected in the year 2017. The primary source of business value for AI is expected to be drawn from customer experience with the increase in virtual agent tools that support interaction.
Some of the current major applications of Artificial Intelligence include object identification, image recognition, detection, classification, and automated geophysical feature detection. The larger share of revenue is presently acquired from the AI enterprise applications market. The major drivers contributing to the growth of the market are the increasing demand for intelligent virtual assistants, the growing big data market, and the adoption of cloud-based applications.
The ability of AI systems to process large data sets quickly and process the information in new and improved ways will open up huge business opportunities for the technology. This can be inferred from the words of Gartner research vice president John-David Lovelock “In the long run, the business value of AI will be about new revenue possibilities”.
The Growth of AI Applications over the Years
The CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of AI systems for the forecast period 2017 to 2022 is expected to be around 37.3%. The software will be the largest and the fastest growing technology, representing over 40% of all AI spending with a CAGR of 43.1% over a period of 5 years. Two of the main areas of focus for these investments are deep learning/machine learning such as educational learning applications, conversational AI applications, for example chatbots, and personal assistants
Hardware, including storage and servers, acquire the second largest spending until a few years before it is overtaken by IT and business services. Both these categories are forecasted to experience strong growth, 30.6% and 36.4% CAGRs respectively, despite the slower growth when compared to the overall market.
The use cases with the fastest investment growth over the period 2017 – 2022 are the intelligent processing automation, digital assistants for enterprise knowledge workers, expert shopping advisors & product recommendations and pharmaceutical research & discovery.
Areas in Education and Learning where AI can help
Education aligns the foundation for human behaviour. The educational ecosystem is greatly influenced by digital learning solutions equipped with AI. It brings about a revolutionary change in the way education is imparted to students with different capabilities and interests. While the debate regarding the appropriate screen time for children is still raging on, machine learning and AI are all set to alter the future of education tools and methods.
Artificial Intelligence is expected to grow by 47.5% in the US education sector from 2017 to 2021. The statistics are drawn from the Artificial Intelligence Market in the US Education Sector report. Although the critical presence of tutors and teachers are irreplaceable, AI will bring about a change in their job and to the educational best practices.
Here are some of the areas in education and learning where AI can help.
Teacher and AI collaboration
With the maturation of AI in the educational field, it is expected to fill the gaps in teaching and learning, driving efficiency and personalization in the educational system. It leverages the best attributes of teachers and machines, bringing about the best outcome for students.
Differentiated, individualized learning
AI-powered machines enable the customization of curriculum depending on a student’s ability to learn, which is otherwise impossible by a traditional system. It will be able to adjust learning and a level of differentiation, unlike the regular system.
Universal access for all students
AI-powered learning system makes global classrooms accessible to all, including those in other countries. This can be highly helpful to those students who are unable to attend school due to an illness or want to study a different course from the one available in their school.
Automate admin tasks
AI can easily automate admin tasks such as grading tests and homework. This will provide the teacher with more time to interact directly with the students. This can help in the creation of more efficient enrolment and admission processes.
Creation of smart content
Advanced AI capabilities can be put to use in the creation of digital textbooks and learning digital interfaces, relevant to students in different grades and age groups.
Top Use Cases of AI in Education
Students are found to learn better during one on one sessions. A teacher handling a class of students finds it impossible to dedicate so much time to one student alone. AI-powered learning gains an advantage in these cases. Knowji and Splashmath are some popular AI-powered adaptive learning applications available today.
The Knowji application works on the principle of spaced repetition. The application tracks words that the students find difficult to remember and suggests a time to practice. Splashmath is a dream app to learn math with a dozen games, personalized tasks and exercises.
Grading apps for teachers
AI-powered grading apps provide teachers with a helping hand to grade assignments. Some of the popular grading apps available today include Gradescope and Pearson Essay Assessment. Gradescope performs a fair and fast task by dividing the answers into groups and sorting the right and wrong ones.
Pearson Essay Assessment app evaluates an essay on its ideological consistency while assessing the writing style, spelling and word choices.
Enhancing organizational process
Teaching involves a lot of organizational processes that require a lot of time and management skills. AI tools make the task easy while saving work from being lost. Some of the popular applications include Content Technologies Inc. and Hubert.ai. While Content Technologies Inc. helps teachers create summaries and personalize textbooks, Hubert.ai is a smart bot that aid students give feedback to the teachers.
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