Does sensitivity play a role in teaching, or is it enough to be mechanical about the whole thing?
This question is inevitably asked when discussions turn to the role of AI in education. And even though, there are no right or wrong answers at this early stage of the technology, AI is receiving good grades so far.
Earning the highest mark is the capacity of smart machines to fill in the gaps that a human educator may not always be able to physically handle out of exhaustion. AI has no problem expediting the menial yet time-consuming administrative tasks such as checking homework, logging in attendance and absences, and preparing report cards.
Intelligent software, in turn, is taking over in the test paper-grading department. Semi-sentient robots that have been programmed using machine learning can grasp the logic and meaning in an essay and judge its quality just like a human teacher would.
Robot learning-companions are about to replace human tutors and keep students company as they learn at their own pace. Meanwhile, AI teaching assistants are on duty round-the-clock answering the never-ending student queries that often cause instructors lots of stress handling individually.
The Reality of AI in Education
Pretty impressive, don’t you think so? However, the fear of the technology still remains, and many issues should be resolved before we can assess if artificial intelligence in education can deliver the right kind of learning.
First of all, specialists are worried that the interaction between a student and a human instructor, which is an important part of the learning experience, is in danger of being lost. You see, robots still lose out to humans when it comes to emotional support and encouragement.
Another concern is the prospect of AI taking over teaching jobs. Moreover, human educators indeed have reasons to worry because the present crop of AI assistants can already perform teaching tasks without students even noticing that they’re actually dealing with robots.
Meanwhile, teachers are not yet ready to collaborate with artificial intelligence and vice versa. AI-developers should learn more about the ways educators work in order to create more efficient and human-like products. Instructors, on the other hand, must acquire new digital skills to be able to work closely with their machine colleagues.
Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Education
Despite the challenges, several AI innovations are already bringing new energy to the classroom, facilitating individualized learning, and putting life back into teachers’ hectic schedules.
1. Automated evaluation
- AI can automatically grade all kinds of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blanks testing, which are routine and repetitive, yet take a lot of teachers’ time handling.
- Robo-graders that recognize small yet significant nuances can perform automatic computer grading of written essays.
2. Smart content
- AI is capable of digitizing textbooks or creating customized digital learning interfaces for students of varying ages and grades.
- AI enables teachers and professors to design a digital curriculum and content for audio, video, and online devices.
3. Personalized/adaptive learning
- Adaptive learning systems using artificial neural networks can help decrease students’ learning time compared to the prevailing curriculum standard.
- AI-based applications allow tracking a student’s progress and either adjust the course or inform the teacher about where the student has difficulty comprehending.
4. AI teaching assistant
- Chatbots can help students in higher education by answering questions relevant to their coursework, recommending readings, and suggesting ways to contribute in class.
- Smart mathematics tutoring programs can track performance and identify problem areas by visualizing the student’s thought process while working on a math problem.
5. AI-driven programs
- AI systems can fill in the gaps in teachers’ lectures and study materials which students may find confusing.
- AI can provide immediate feedback as students learn, helping them understand and apply different concepts correctly.
Artificial Intelligence in education is a difficult subject to grade, especially in its infancy. But so far, many educators and students are hopeful that it will ultimately realize its potential and elevate learning to a new level.