Artificial intelligence solutions have a prominent position among emerging technologies. These rapidly developing disciplines promise a vision of the future in which many tasks traditionally performed by humans can be automated: with their help, we can reduce human burdens and embark on the path of development. But how does AI appear in education? What self-directed, artificial intelligence-based options are currently available in e-learning? Our colleague Petra Takács gives a few practical examples in her Journal post to show that the future is happening now.
In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue artificial intelligence defeated the ruling world champion of chess, Garry Kasparov. Its algorithm allowed it to calculate thousands of possible moves in a short time and selected the most likely ones to win. The success of Deep Blue was a milestone in the history of AI, and served as a rich inspiration for many fields, such as literature and cinema.
But what can artificial intelligence do in education? According to eLearning Industry “ an AI-based e-learning platform is a machine/system that possesses the ability to perform different tasks requiring human intelligence. It maintains the ability to create solutions to human-related problems, like speech recognition, translations involving different languages, decision making, and much more.”
Of course, the artificial intelligence that surrounds us today is still a far cry from the beloved self-aware, super-intelligent creatures of fantasy and science fiction movies. The machine intelligences that we encounter on smartphones or when browsing the Internet are called “weak”; or “narrow” AI. Their functions consist of limited algorithms – although they can be taught to evolve from data and predict probabilities, they cannot engage in independent tasks for which they were not programmed.
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Why is artificial intelligence necessary in education? Is it?
We all learn differently, at different paces, and our knowledge acquisition methods are unique. AI can be of great help in personalizing education. Now, we can meet artificial intelligence-based systems whose autonomous operation helps students to progress at their own pace. Machine learning appears in education from time to time; it speeds up work processes, reduces burdens and confidently moves towards becoming one of the central elements of future education.
One of the most positive features of online education is that it makes learning accessible to those who otherwise struggle with face-to-face attendance. Artificial intelligence can help through programs that use language-processing algorithms to caption live speech, provide descriptions of visual content, or support students in accessing learning materials as virtual assistants.
While most of us can still quickly tell whether we’re talking to a robot or a human, chatbots are still a great help in education. These programs have near-human language capabilities and can analyze enough grammar to communicate with students and then process these conversations. Chatbots can, for example, answer students’ questions if they get stuck while studying, but there are already applications to support language learning or script writing. Although it cannot replace the precision of face-to-face education, it can provide important support where access is difficult.
3. Virtual assistants
Just like chatbots, virtual assistants can help students through communication – participants can ask them questions or ask for support in navigating the course material. Unlike human teachers, artificial intelligence assistants are available every day of the week, every hour of the day, so they can accompany thousands of students through their learning, simultaneously. Although the idea of virtual assistants inspired the idea of virtual instructors, so far, we only know of few examples of such a development being implemented successfully or without problems.
AI technologies become more effective by the more data they collect and learn how to react in different situations. They may be able to provide customized learning materials to students, so the content may become much more attractive to users. learner centered collaborative Altitude Learning focuses on student-centered education
5. Evaluation and grading
One of the major challenges when revising a piece of written work is the time required for in-depth reading and evaluation. However, the better AI understands the meaning behind written language, the more effective it can help with grading. As well as being a useful assistant to instructors, it is also able to report on the difficulties of individual students, so that support can be focused on the areas where it is most needed.
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6. Against fraud
Plagiarism detection tools generally do not require artificial intelligence, but they can be used in other forms of fraud detection. For example, AI can learn the student’s writing pattern, its uniqueness, and by processing this data, it can determine whether the given task was really completed by the student or perhaps by someone else.
7. Scenario-based learning
The use of branching scenarios is widespread in e-learning: they are beneficial for learners but can be challenging for professionals to design. The more the story progresses and the more choices there are, the more complex the scenario is. Artificial intelligence can help by generating dynamic responses – instead of following a pre-planned script, it takes into account multiple factors, creating a realistic environment and situational exercises for the student. For example, if the learner lingers too long on an answer, the response conditions can change, and if they return to a previous branch, the AI can remember the decision made there and then transform future options.
We can make learning truly permanent by using our senses: it can also help if we not only see but also hear the curriculum. One of the easiest-to-use versions of artificial intelligence programs is the development that converts text into sound format, which gives more and more possibilities; our curriculum can contribute to understanding in different human voices, with different sounds, intonations and a diverse set of languages.
Similar to sound, visual elements can also help during the learning process. Technological developments include platforms that go beyond simple narration generation and enable the creation of customized AI videos with performers, using only text.
Summary: AI in education
Although the development of artificial intelligence is still in its early stages, its extensive branches have already permeated the fields of e-learning and education. It influences not only market values, but it may have a central place in automation and the general development of teaching. The more common the use of AI becomes, the more ways to use innovative methods can open up. It may seem like these scenarios are only possible in the world of science fiction movies, but many of them are likely to be part of our everyday lives in the next 5-10 years. Are you ready?
The author of the Journal post is Petra Takács, curriculum developer of Klippe, researcher of innovative educational methodological solutions and technologies.
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