As an educational software development company, we are always thinking about what machine learning can do for learners. Inevitably, this lead us to the subject of AI.
So what is AI exactly? A lot of people still think of robots when AI is mentioned, but that’s not exactly what AI is. AI is all around us. It’s in our phones, calculators, and even Google Translate. In other words, the computer that’s in a robot is AI. To bring it closer to home, the software behind Siri is AI, but the voice itself is only a personification of that AI.
AI is an incredibly field to work with, and one of the fastest growing industries. Take the Law of Accelerating Returns for example, a term coined by Ray Kurzweil, an American author, computer scientist, and inventor. This law states that human progress moves exponentially quicker as time goes on. As we have access to more knowledge and technology, we are able to innovate at a faster pace.
Kurzweil believes that because of this, the entire progress of the last century could have been achieved in only 20 years at the rate of advancement in the year 2000. He adds that it won’t be long until that same amount of advancement can occur within one month.
This means that we’re right on the verge of technological advancement skyrocketing. If you’re like me, you probably feel like it doesn’t feel like that. There’s a scientific explanation of this: humans are very good at thinking in exponential terms, and we often hold on to what we know a little too much. This means that we project what we feel has changed in our lives over the past few years and expect that same rate to continue forever. But if we’re being completely logical and expect historical patterns to continue, the conclusion is that much more should change in the coming decades than we expect.
Tim Urban from WaitButWhy did some extensive research into the subject of Superintelligent AI, and wrote the following two incredible articles. They’re both very long, but if you’re interested in this subject, please read his amazing work for yourself. We highly recommend it.
An Example of How SOWISO is Implementing AI
SOWISO is currently working together with students from the University of Amsterdam to create an AI that can provide teachers with an easy way to identify which students are likely to fail due to their behavior.
This is how it works: an algorithm will analyze both the quantity and quality of a student’s work. This means that it looks at the amount of exercises made, but also what grades a student is getting after making them. More importantly, how does the quantity relate to the quality?
So let’s say you’re a math teacher, and you have a number of students who always make a large number of exercises, but makes a lot of mistakes and hardly gets to the right answer. This algorithm will identify those students – students who show a lot of activity and still perform poorly on tests – and put them in a cluster. These are the students who need extra support.
This is especially useful in large classes like college level math courses, where SOWISO is used the most. In those cases, it’s not always easy for the teacher to pay individual attention to his or her students.
Eventually, we hope to include the ability to make predictions based on the available data. By analyzing and identify the behavior of students who are at risk of falling behind relatively early on in the course, teachers will be able to provide extra assistance and guidence.
At SOWISO we are fascinated by the possibilities of AI and are always looking for new ways to implement innovative features in our algorithm to benefit the learning experience of our students.
Let’s talk again soon,