Artificial Intelligence in Education

Artificial Intelligence in Education

Although it still doesn’t come as standard in most school environments, artificial intelligence has been taught to students since it was first introduced in the 1980s. In a number of ways, the two things seem made for one another.

Artificial intelligence can aid with diagnostic testing and personalised curriculums.

AI’s digital nature also provides opportunities for pupil engagement that wouldn’t be found in the fixed classroom environment or in an out-dated textbook. Both education and artificial intelligence both have the capability to be able to push the other forward and increase the discovery of innovative technologies and learning frontiers.

Keep reading below to find out some of the ways in which artificial intelligence is being used in education:

Virtual learning environments Artificial Intelligence in Education

Artificial Intelligence in Education

Three of the main ways AI is being used in education include:

  • Virtual learning environments – virtual human guides are used in a number of therapeutic and educational environments
  • Intelligent tutoring systems – personalised systems are built that suit the preferences and learning styles of the pupil
  • Smart context – this technology attempts to condense out-dated textbooks into a useful tool that can be used for exam preparation e.g. true and false questions

Out of these, ITS has made the most progress since it was first introduced. However, all of these have the potential to help define the next generation of responsive teaching and more personalised learning. Click here to find out more about how artificial intelligence supports education in the real-world.

Intelligent tutoring systems Artificial Intelligence in Education

Examples of AI in Education

  • Virtual learning environments – Nobody working in education is looking forward to the day when virtual humans replace teachers and other educational professionals, but the idea of creating virtual beings that can be used in this way is a promising area being developed. This idea is not quite a reality yet. The final goal is to be able to produce a virtual human that can act, think, react, and interact in a natural manner, who can respond in both a verbal and non-verbal way.
  • Intelligent tutoring systems – mastery learning supports the effectiveness of personalised tutoring and instruction in the classroom. The fundamentals of mastery learning include a curriculum that is planned around a pupil’s progress, timely, targeted feedback, enrichment opportunities, and an opportunity to immediately correct practise. These systems aim to provide pupils with a one-on-one tutoring system. A lot of progress has been made in this field over the years. In fact, evidence has shown that these systems are as good as hiring a human tutor in many cases.
  • Smart context – from customizable learning digital interfaces to digitized guides of textbooks. These are all being introduced throughout the education sector, from primary schools to universities to corporate environments.

How Things Will Change in the Next Decade

Education is mainly taught by human-to-human interaction. The integration of AI has taken time to develop, but there are a number of ways in which it has helped to fill gaps in teaching and learning. AI has the ability to analyse a large amount of data in a short period of time, e.g. how a student has performed over a period in a particular subject area. AI is then able to provide specialised learning or new content that helps the pupil improve and meet their targets. The data gathered by artificial intelligence also allows teachers to better understand how a student learns, where they are struggling, and devise a specialised plan to help them achieve.

In 2013 Woolf et al discussed the future of AI in education and suggested five areas for continued research. These include:

  1. Learning the skills of the 21st century
  2. Providing every learner with a mentor
  3. Interaction data for learning
  4. Life-wide and lifelong learning
  5. Access to the classroom from anywhere in the world

The above areas are a useful platform for generating ideas and framing objectives, as companies and researchers continue to develop and move forward with new and innovative ways of using artificial intelligence in education.

Many people believe that in time, humans will be replaced in the educational environment by virtual humans. As artificial intelligence advances in this area, it seems that evidence is growing to show that both humans and intelligent systems are needed to properly take care of all the different academic and social needs of a pupil. Artificial intelligence is unlikely to completely replace human beings in the classroom, instead, it will act as an extension of the human expert, which will help teachers meet the needs of a diverse group of people simultaneously.