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Our GenAI-driven Alakh AI tailors learning experiences uniquely for students: Vineet Govil, CTPO, Physics Wallah

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The digital deluge has reengineered businesses across industries. A distinguishable impact on the education sector is evident with the application of GenAI in rejuvenating pedagogical and learning solutions. In an exclusive interaction, Vineet Govil, Chief Technology and Product Officer (CTPO), Physics Wallah, elaborates on the tech-backed evolution of India’s education sector and highlights how his company’s GenAI-driven Alakh AI tailors learning experiences uniquely for students. He also brings to light Physics Wallah’s innovative approach to democratising education in the real essence.

Physics Wallah (PW) is one of the fastest education startups to become a unicorn. What innovations have you brought forth that make you stand out from your competitors?

At Physics Wallah (PW), our innovation strategy revolves around three core pillars: accessibility, personalisation, and engagement. With around 400-member tech and product team, we are equipped to drive this strategy forward. Our recent groundbreaking innovation, the indigenously built AI education suite named ‘Alakh AI,’ stands out as a transformative force in personalised learning. Alakh AI, powered by AI Guru, provides 24×7 personalised tutoring, addressing students’ queries in real time with an impressive 94 percent satisfaction rate. Within just two months of its launch, the Alakh AI education suite has garnered 1.5 million users. This level of personalisation and immediate response sets us apart in the edtech industry. Moreover, our commitment to affordability is evident through discounts of up to 80 percent on our courses, reinforcing our position as a true democratiser of education at scale in India.

The unique blend of affordability, accessibility, and technology-driven personalisation sets us apart and our key differentiators Alakh AI Suite include:

Community and engagement: Our focus on collaborative learning environments and live practice sessions fosters a sense of community and makes learning an interactive journey.

Accessibility enhancements: Features like low data mode and LearnOS Tapasya Mode ensure our platform is accessible to students of varied economic backgrounds, without high data costs or digital distractions. Tapasya mode ensures that we provide a distraction-free learning environment to students.

Affordability: We are committed to providing comprehensive, quality education at a fraction of traditional costs, enabling superior learning access for everyone.

Physics Wallah has a vision to “democratise education at scale in India”. How far have you achieved that and how emerging technologies have contributed in this direction?

Our vision of democratising education has made remarkable strides, expanding our reach to nearly 98 percent of India’s pin codes. We have provided free high-quality education to over 4.3 crore students on YouTube, with over 1 crore downloads on PW app. The scale is evident in our organisation of mega live classrooms accommodating 60,000 to 1 lakh students. This level of scalability validates our efforts in democratising education.

Technologies such as AI have been instrumental in this journey. Our “Low Data mode” feature ensures that students can access our content without worrying about data limits, further democratising access to quality education. Our platform’s extensive reach, even to remote areas, embodies our vision by breaking geographical barriers. As mentioned before, the Alakh AI Suite revolutionises education delivery, offering tailored learning experiences to meet individual needs and pacing. Technology allows us to streamline operations and reduce the costs of delivering quality education, making it more affordable. Besides, our digital library, accessible anytime and anywhere, ensures no student is left behind due to a lack of resources.

Do you think GenAI can prove to be an effective tool to upskill and rejuvenate the teaching workforce in the country? How are you planning to deploy or have deployed GenAI-based tools in improving not only the pedagogy but also the learning and understanding capabilities of your students?

GenAI can support teachers by automating administrative tasks and providing insights into student performance, allowing them to focus more on teaching and less on logistics. Furthermore, GenAI can identify gaps in students’ knowledge, enabling teachers to tailor their instruction more effectively. By leveraging GenAI for professional development, teachers can stay abreast of the latest educational strategies and technologies. Additionally, the emergence of AI teachers has also reshaped the learning landscape, pushing the boundaries of education.

GenAI is at the core of our educational innovations. Our Alakh AI suite is a testament to this, employing GenAI to tailor learning experiences uniquely for each student. AI Guru, part of Alakh AI, personalises tutoring, significantly enhancing understanding capabilities. Additionally, our “NCERT Pitara” uses GenAI to generate a diverse range of interactive questions from textbooks, offering a self-paced learning environment. This use of GenAI improves pedagogy by providing a more adaptive learning experience and directly enhances students’ comprehension and retention abilities.

Technologies like mixed reality (MR) and metaverse can be game changers offering experiential learning through a parallel digital realm. How do you see such a change impacting education and students’ cognitive capabilities? How futuristic is it for Indian institutions, considering our present status quo?

The integration of mixed reality and the metaverse into education can revolutionise experiential learning, offering immersive experiences that enhance conceptual understanding and retention. For Indian institutions, while the implementation may seem futuristic, we are steadily progressing towards making such technologies more accessible. At Physics Wallah (PW), we are exploring these technologies to complement our digital offerings, aiming to make learning not just informative but also immensely engaging. The key is to bridge the technological divide, ensuring equitable access to these advanced learning tools across all socio-economic segments.

Do you think the onset of technology-driven education can widen the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged students on the sheer basis of affordability? Can independent institution bodies like Physics Wallah play a role in democratising technology-driven solutions?

While there’s a potential risk of technology-driven education widening the socio-economic divide, platforms like Physics Wallah are actively working to mitigate this. By offering high-quality education at affordable prices and innovating with features like “Low Data mode,” we aim to ensure that technology acts as a leveler rather than a divider. Our extensive reach through online learning in remote areas is a testament to our commitment to democratising education at scale. Independent bodies play a crucial role in this, offering solutions that are not only technologically advanced but also accessible and affordable.

What are your plans and future outlook for the upcoming academic year?

Our focus for the upcoming academic year is on further personalising the learning experience and making our offerings more accessible. We plan to enhance our AI technologies to provide even more tailored educational content and support and thereby provide a personalised learning experience to students keeping in mind what they need to learn and when they need to learn. Expanding our tech-enabled offline centres, Vidyapeeth, will also be a priority to ensure that students from all corners of India have access to high-quality education. Additionally, we are exploring new technologies and pedagogical methods to make learning more engaging and effective. Our ultimate goal remains to empower every student to reach their full potential, irrespective of their geographical or economic background.

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