Do Intelligent Machines Make Intelligent Students?

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‘Smart devices are making our kids dumb’, has been a strongly held view of many. But it couldn’t be more wrong.

Artificial intelligence and intelligent machines have crept into our daily lives so stealthy, we hardly notice it happening. Much of the time we are oblivious to how these systems have affected the information we interact with on a daily basis. Google manipulates the data it presents to us based on location, Amazon makes recommendations based on our searches and purchases and effectively all ads we see are geared towards our own interests and preferences. 

In the same vein, these kinds of intelligent systems have the capacity to change how we find, interpret and use data in schools and academia. Evidently, AI technology has radically changed how we interact with information and as it continues to evolve and develop with new and integrated technology, students in the future can anticipate vastly different educational experiences than those of today.

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AI market is expected to generate $3 trillion in revenue by 2024

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In fact, a recent study from eSchool News found that the use of AI in education will grow by 47.5% by 2021 as we move into an ever-increasingly interconnected world. This increase will see a drastic shift away from static learning in the confines of a classroom whereby knowledge and skills are measured on a one-size-fits-all assessment basis. It will see the generation of a higher calibre of skilled students, each better informed about what their job prospects will look like and each having individual and personalised study programs. 

Tirelessly working tech companies are making movements towards applying AI in education on a grander scale. WorkFusion is already helping organisations with smart automation platforms that can assist in the grading and filling processes in classrooms. Automation of such administrative tasks is ultimately the first step towards improving the education industry and effectively allocating more time for teacher-student relations. 

As things stand, the current model of education is fundamentally lacking the capacity to produce a highly-skilled workforce. As we move closer and closer to a totally digitalised world, so too must the next generation become ‘digitalised’. Today, 73% of employers report a lack of skills in their industry. Further, according to the BBC, 65% of today’s children will work jobs that do not yet exist. In order to allow for a seamless transition into the digital world, sufficient structural reforms in education are necessary for the preparation of the next generation of the workforce. 

Artificial Intelligence Technical Solutions 

The development and application of AI and machine learning in education can contribute to enhancing and refining the skills needed in the future world economy. Our future will be more intelligent than ever and intelligent machines are needed to produce intelligent students. As the ecosystem moves towards AI and machine learning, so too should our educational models.

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University 20.35 is the first unique and innovative training course to provide opportunities for professional development, by creating individual educational trajectories and tracking digital skills profiles using AI. The educational process in its entirety was designed and planned using artificial intelligence. 

The model is based on a simple premise, where educational trajectories for each student are selected in a personalised manner. As participants of this course are trained both online and offline, at any moment, they can make a decision based on the recommendations that take into account their digital footprint, that of others and the educational material provided to them. Hence, the University 20.35 platform allows for a conscious choice and personal development trajectory for everyone in the digital economic environment.

“Our aim is to create a flexible digital education system, not even of tomorrow, but for the day after, based on the unique Russian educational AI, which will enable quick training of these specialists and teams in order to solve complex problems” said Dmitry Peskov, head of University 20.35.

Not only is the use of intelligent machines expected to create the most intelligent students, but anticipations, in this case, are on a grander scale. Participants of the university’s project – Island 10-22 are expected to become the leaders of technological change and highly demanded specialists in the labour market for the technical economy. They will be the substance which fills the gap between the lack of technical skills and the digital strategy. 

Intelligent machines, using AI, can collect each students’ digital footprint during educational processes to confirm the students’ skills. From here, gaps in the knowledge are detected, as are strengths in the students’ skillset. The intelligent machine can then confirm or refute whether a trajectory module tutor is able to efficiently transfer skills to the students. Amendments can be made to existing trajectories as the transfer of required knowledge is based on the students’ existing skills diagnostics and educational background. Essentially, it holds the capacity for precise and impeccable efficiency gains. 

Big machines are able to collect, analyse and manipulate big data. The collection of big data on students professional and educational backgrounds, combined with an analysis of student activity, allows the university to craft and recommend the best development path to the student. From here, we can only expect a higher calibre of students.

Following the collection of the students’ digital footprint, AI modified educational processes have the ability to generate what would be the students’ digital twin. Within the realms of education, a digital twin is essentially a replica of the students own physical profile. The near to real-time digital replica of the student’s progress will represent the student’s knowledge and skills. It can also be modelled to take into account what the student forgets, and the skills we are practising. It is precisely this information of our fluctuating (diminishing and strengthening) knowledge, that can be a starting point for a proactive educational program.

Educational AI certainly has a way to go in terms of its development. At its current developmental rate, students in the future will be able to study where and when they want, using whichever platform they want. This is likely to result in mobile devices becoming the main delivery modes of education. Gone will be the days of the traditional classroom setups as we move towards a more interactive style of working and learning. As a result of the increased use of digital and smart devices, we will see mass contributions to the gathering and circulating of big data by storing digital footprints. Going forward, this increase in available data will improve the application of AI in education. 

In short, artificial intelligence has the capacity to completely refute the argument that smart devices and machines are making our kids less intelligent. When applied strategically to education, it has thus far, automated administrative tasks, introduced personalised learning to the extraordinarily generic syllabus that exists today, and puts students on a personal development pathway based on their digital footprints.

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