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Will AI Cause An Education Revolution?

Will AI cause an education revolution?

In the last six months, artificial intelligence has taken over the headlines as the technology has been implemented across the world. Autonomous cars, sophisticated Natural Language Processing chatbots, and bioengineering are just some of the ways that AI has been utilized. In fact, AI is becoming so commonplace that organizations which don’t embrace it risk falling behind. 

The IDC predicts that global spending on AI systems will reach $154 billion in 2023 – nearly 27% more than the amount spent in 2022. The increase in investment demonstrates the value of AI as a tool for innovation, as well as for cost efficiency and growth in organizations. 

It’s no surprise then, that the influence of AI has reached the education sector. The introduction of AI technology coincided with the pandemic and the corresponding shift to remote learning. It has already accelerated a transformation in education. As AI constantly evolves, it will further change schools, curriculums, and learning pathways.

Will AI cause an education revolution? Here’s a breakdown of the possibilities.

AI caters to learners in a post-pandemic environment

The education landscape is very different from what it was pre-2020. Millions of students have adapted to online learning and are adept at using digital tools and platforms for their learning needs. Meanwhile, in the business sphere, mass layoffs and business closures spurred a need for upskilling and reskilling. This general uncertainty has led to a demand for more agile learning, where people can access personalized content, when and how best suits them.

AI played a significant role in this shift, because AI is the backbone for adaptive learning systems. It offers data analytics that allow people to monitor their progress and highlight areas for improvement. For example, an educational tool like ELSA Speak uses AI to generate customized feedback for individuals learning English. Developers used voice data from various English speakers with different accents to create the technology, enabling the app to recognize speech patterns of non-English speakers and offer more impactful suggestions to enhance fluency. Students can use ELSA on-demand from any device, and tap into granular details about their performance whenever they want. 

According to research from Harvard, these types of AI adaptive learning systems have a positive effect on student learning outcomes, resulting in higher achievement and retention rates. Perhaps most importantly though, McKinsey research shows that AI adaptive course delivery is viewed positively by most students. In a post-pandemic world, where flexibility and resilience are essential to education, AI provides high-quality, adaptive learning.

Course curation in the ChatGPT era

ChatGPT has dramatically disrupted education despite its launch in 2022. One study shows that within two months of its release date, more than 50% of teachers were using the tech, and a third of students too. As an educational resource, ChatGPT gives educators and students access to immediate information, helping with research and content-writing tasks. However, there have been concerns around plagiarism, and the possible impact on critical thinking and problem-solving skills among users.

That said, ChatGPT will likely remain in use in more specific applications; especially when it has exhibited outstanding performance for the likes of higher-order thinking and economics.

In other areas, the careful integration of ChatGPT will ensure that it empowers students rather than overrides them. For one, ChatGPT can foster intelligent evaluations by automatically grading assignments and providing constructive feedback. This type of assessment removes human error or bias, delivers feedback to students faster, and gives educators more time to work with students on other priorities. 

Elsewhere, ChatGPT can facilitate collaborative learning experiences, so that students can access learning whenever and wherever suits them. This augmented collaboration simulates interactions so students can engage in virtual debates and activities using ChatGPT¡+

The integration of ChatGPT in education will lead to the emergence of protocols and best practices, which will guide the future integration of AI in learning experiences.

Technology as a tutor and democratizer

AI technology can serve students with a range of capabilities, regardless of their geography – in that way, AI is democratizing access to education. AI drives intelligent content creation, where it makes quizzes, worksheets, and study materials based on individuals’ needs and goals. Students can utilize the tailored content anywhere with an internet connection because the technology is accessible from electronic devices. For communities in rural areas, where traveling to schools is difficult, such access to top content is necessary.

It’s also worth noting that AI is opening doors to education for people with disabilities. Globally, 1.3 billion people experience a disability, and are more likely to be excluded from education as a result. With AI, however, more diverse capabilities are being accommodated. For example, text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies can support students with visual impairments or reading difficulties. AI can also help with image and document recognition, where it analyzes content and extracts meaningful information to describe it – a process that particularly benefits people using screen readers. 

Additionally, assistive chatbots and virtual assistants can provide alternative formats for tasks, including text-based explanations, audio descriptions, visual aids, and interactive simulations that cater to different learning styles. 

Moreover, as AI tools cater to a broader range of users, conducting user testing and gathering feedback will ensure that the data driving AI becomes more representative. This, in turn, will make educational technology more inclusive.

Generative AI: the next stepping stone

Generative AI (GenAI) is one of the newest technologies entering education at the moment. Unlike conversational AI, GenAI can respond to commands with both text responses and content responses like audio, images, and videos. Experts predict that by 2025, GenAI will be responsible for 10% of all data created.

GenAI is so effective because it can recognize students’ learning patterns and produce content that aligns with their needs. GenAI chatbots can create custom responses to students based on how they have phrased a question or according to historical data about their performance in a subject. For teachers, GenAI can leverage information including students’ skills and previous feedback to generate personalized curriculums.

GenAI is also impactful in training scenarios because it can shape virtual reality simulations. These projections allow medical students to practice surgeries and diagnoses in real-life contexts with reduced risk in case of errors. Unsurprisingly, one study found that students have a general positive attitude toward the integration of GenAI into education. 

So, will AI cause an education revolution? It seems that the revolution is already underway as schools and educators welcome AI resources. A revolution won’t mean that education becomes unrecognizable. Rather, our education systems will evolve alongside society’s adoption of innovative technology, offering better opportunities to learn and grow. 
Get a feel for the education revolution now – try ELSA and see how GenAI can impact your learning journey.

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