AI enabled cognitive learning – the future of education?

AI has been around for over 50 years but it remained a fringe technology until recently when it became relevant because of abundance of data (big data), affordable computing power and advances in Machine Learning

By Amit Bansal, CEO & Founder, WizKlub

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all around us. Whether it is your smart phone that takes spectacular photos by using smart sensors or its Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant that can have smart conversations with you by understanding your intent, every gadget is getting smarter through AI. However, the impact of AI is not just limited to gadgets, AI is capable of altering every aspect of our social interactions.

Not surprisingly, AI would also change the way people learn. One of the greatest challenges with regards to education is that people learn differently and AI systems can deliver hyper personalisation for each learner to empower each student to learn in the manner best suited for them.

AI has been around for over 50 years but it remained a fringe technology until recently when it became relevant because of abundance of data (big data), affordable computing power and advances in Machine Learning. In context of learning, the machine gathers lot of data about a learner, uses machine learning algorithms to create meaningful insights (intelligence) about the learner and then takes actions that makes the learner learn better. The AI powered learning technology is fundamentally different from the learning tech of the past as it keeps learning about the learners and takes intelligent decisions.

Let’s come back to a typical school in India. The whole focus of the school and the parents is to ensure that the student finishes the curriculum. Whether it is science, maths or any other subject, the way to excellence is through revisions. The more you revise, the higher are the chances of a student getting a good grade in school. The only insight a parent gets during the Parent-Teacher-Meeting is the marks scored by the student in the tests. More often than not, neither the teacher nor the parent knows how to make the child perform at the next level. The current system is inadequate on 3 fronts:

  1.       Not having the right data
  2.     Not having the tools to get insights (actionable intelligence) from the data
  3.       No way to action a personalised learning path based on insights

The future of learning is all about using AI to promote personalisation and better learning outcomes for every learner. In an AI powered cognitive learning environment, the system first knows the learner through parameters such as the best way the learner learns, proficiency level on a topic, interest level on that topic. Based on the insights about the learner, a personalised learning path is automatically created that ensures that the learner would learn the best possible way and be successful. For instance, for a visual learner the video on the same topic would be visual illustrations whereas for a kinesthetics learner it would be more like a let’s do it together video. Similarly, all assignments and assessments taken by the student help the system continuously learn about the learner. If a student is struggling with word problems in mathematics, the system would be able to figure out whether the problem is with student’s ability to visualise the problem, simplifying the problem or using the correct mathematical formulae to solve the problem. Similarly, there may be gaps in the learning process itself that is forcing the child to learn by “Rote Memorisation” instead of learning the right way. The student may not be able to make inferential meaning that is preventing a child to go beyond what is written. Another child may not be able to find patterns and relationships, hence may struggle to make connections with the earlier content. An AI powered system captures the data and gives remedy for effective learning.

As learning is getting more paperless with time, the AI powered learning systems would continue to become more effective and efficient. With AI powered teaching assistants capable of intelligent and meaningful conversations, learning would literally be child’s play.

About Author:

Amit Bansal is the CEO & Founder of WizKlub. He is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade in start-up experience across three edtech ventures; and 10 years of corporate experience across strategy, business development, technology, product management and marketing for consumer and enterprise technology products across India and North America. His earlier ventures include Xcelerator and PurpleLeap. He holds an MBA in Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

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