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How AI will change Education: Part I 🤖 Transcend Newsletter #59
Let’s cut through the noise - can AI can actually make a change?
Hi there! Alberto here, from Madrid this week.
The Transcend Newsletter explores the intersection of the future of education and the future work, and the founders building it around the world.
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How I think AI will impact Education
In the future, AI will act as our personal tutor, mentor and coach, providing us with tailored feedback and recommendations.
AI is going to change the way we learn and absorb information. It will customize learning programs to our own individual strengths and weaknesses. And it will make learning more engaging and efficient.
Overall, AI will make learning more effective.
This is already happening. AI is being used to create personalized learning experiences, to identify students who are struggling and provide targeted support, and to create new ways of assessment.
Automated Essay Scoring: One of the most promising applications of AI in education is automated essay scoring. This technology uses machine learning algorithms to grade essays according to pre-determined criteria. One of the benefits of automated essay scoring is that it can provide immediate feedback to students. This is especially useful for students who are struggling with writing.
Tutoring Systems: Tutoring systems are another promising application of AI in education. These systems use AI to provide personalized instruction to students. One of the benefits of tutoring systems is that they can be used to provide personalized instruction to each student. This is especially beneficial for students who are struggling in school.
Learning Analytics: Learning analytics is the use of data to understand and improve learning. Learning analytics can be used to track student progress, to identify students who are struggling, and to understand the factors that lead to success in learning.
OK LET ME STOP YOU THERE.
You’ve likely been reading for the last few minutes my arguments for why AI is going to change education. You may agree with some points, disagree with others…
Only, those were not my words.
An AI has written every single word in this essay up until here.
The only thing I wrote myself was the first sentence: Artificial Intelligence is going to revolutionize education. The images too, everything was generated by AI.
Crazy, isn’t it?
I used Lex, a word-processing tool that incorporates GPT-3 to generate new paragraphs or sentences based on previous information you fed the AI. In my case, all I needed was the first sentence of this piece.
I’ve been playing around with a lot of AI tools as an exploration of how AI can impact education, so I’m sharing some of my early learnings.
How I think AI will actually impact Education
AI could have a massive impact on education, of course.
But let’s start with the basics – what does AI enable for us as humans?
AI enables creative discovery. The most interesting use case for AI in my writing today wasn’t writing the newsletter in full. In fact, I find the first paragraphs of this essay quite boring. Instead, I use it to finish sentences or generate a new paragraph, and see if I like the ideas it’s sharing with me.
Nathan Baschez, the creator of Lex, hit the nail on the head here – he writes “AI is already incredibly good at priming us while we’re writing. It can show us the way towards ideas that are adjacent to those we’re currently exploring, much better than we could see on our own”
AI substitutes manual tasks that are prone to human error, and enables humans to complete more creative, complex tasks.
But AI won’t replace humans’ creative thinking
The first few paragraphs of this essay make sense grammatically.
But they are boring. They are exactly what’s wrong with AI – it uses others’ work to regurgitate new sentences, and that doesn’t always make for new or unique angles. That’s what humans, as creative brains, are there to do – to find interesting angles never written, represented or thought of before!
Humans and AI act like Batman and Robin: our creative minds will always be Batman, while AI excels at being our Robin. Robin offers new perspectives and advice, but isn’t making the creative final decision.
Great artists, teachers and writers, are here to stay. If anything, AI should help them dive deeper into their creativity. Human augmentation, not automation!
Applications for AI
Given these core ideas, I think there are some clear applications for AI in education. Many are influenced by the great replies to my tweet yesterday (thank you all who suggested startups, and please keep them coming!)
AI to foster creativity: tools like the one I used today help writers think of new ideas at every point in the writing process (outline, first draft, writing, editing). This can be applied to so many aspects of the creative process, like music production, design, painting, and so much more!
AI Rethinking Grading and Assessment
AI Image generators, like the tools enabled by Stable Diffusion
AI to rethink grading and assessment: so much of the teachers’ days are spent on tasks outside of teaching, and new tools aim to give them back their time by streamlining the grading process:
Assessment startups like Examind generate unique prompts for exam questions, which eliminates the incentive to cheating. SAInaptic or SaveAll automate quizzes based on large chunks of educational text.
Corporate learning startups focus on learning evaluations, like Taskbase (automating feedback on instruction and learning), SanaLabs or Trivie (which generate polls, quizzes or transcripts based on meetings)
AI to surface the most relevant information: many individual learners who don’t have access to educators or support staff will use conversational AI tools to support their own learning journey.
AI as a digital coach: technologies like natural language processing allow AI to enter our learning process as a “digital coach” for complex tasks.
I am (and as most of us are) still learning about the implications of AI in our lives, and how it will impact education specifically. We are also exploring the negative consequences when student data is misused.
In this Part I, I wanted to show you a glimpse of how AI can enable human thinking and creation, and surface some existing use cases.
Part II is yet to be written, but I would like it to include perspectives from real experts and operator, not just cheap talk from thought leadership articles. Please reply to this email suggesting the names of experts you’d like to hear from in our Part II!
The future we have described here may sound dystopian to you, but I find it very hopeful. I want to believe in a world where we use technology to augment our creativity, rather than substitute us. And today, I felt augmented! Thank you, AI.
If you are building applications for AI in education, we want to hear from you! Reply to this email and tell me more about it!
The Roundup ☀️
🏢 The shift from Jobs to Skills-based organizations - Read more on Forbes.
🤖 How can AI help in disrupting EdTech - Read more.
🎮 China emphasizes education, sci-tech, talent in modernization drive. Read more.
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