Artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way into numerous aspects of our lives, including education. There are five ways in which it can be used in education. First, it can be used to learn analytics. AI can process and analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends in student learning. This information can then be used to provide instruction and support to individual students or groups of students.
Second, online tutoring platforms make use of AI algorithms to provide personalised recommendations and feedback to students based on their strengths and weaknesses. Third, AI can be used to scan documents for plagiarism. Fourth, speech recognition technology can be used in education in a number of ways, such as helping students with dyslexia or other reading disabilities convert text to speech.
And fifth, virtual reality (VR) is being used in some schools as a way to provide immersive experiences that can aid in student learning. For example, VR can be used to take students on a virtual field trip. Students can visit incredible places without leaving the classroom. Microsoft HoloLens can be used by medical students and doctors to learn about the human body using mixed reality. One can even enlarge and walk inside the components of human body. This can also help in treating different medical conditions by understanding them better.
In India, AI is being used in education in a few different ways. One way is through the use of chatbots. This way, students can get the help they need when they need it, and they don’t have to wait for a tutor to be available. Another way is through the use of adaptive learning software. This type of software adjusts the difficulty of the material based on the student’s individual needs.
AI can also create personalised learning experiences for students. By using data from past performance, educators can create customised lesson plans and activities that target each student’s specific strengths and weaknesses. This allows for a more targeted and effective learning experience for each individual student.
While the benefits of using AI in education are many, there are a few potential drawbacks too. One, it could lead to more “one-size-fits-all” instruction. Another is that AI might be used to simply automate existing instructional methods, rather than innovate new ones. Additionally, AI-based instruction could exacerbate inequalities if, for example, only wealthy schools can afford to implement it. There is also the risk that excessive reliance on AI could lead to a loss of critical thinking skills among students.
The best way to address these drawbacks is to measure the learning outcomes after implementing AI solutions on a pilot basis. Studies have shown that learning outcomes can be improved with remedial instructions. For example, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Abhijit Banerjee, and others did experimental evaluation of a programme run by PRATHAM in public schools in Mumbai and Vadodara. The programme provided an informal teacher (Balasakhi) for teaching. For about two hours remedial instruction was given out of the regular classroom. The programme improved student test scores. Something similar can be done for testing AI systems.
Considering India’s large population and the vast number of schools and colleges, the potential for AI to transform education in the country is huge. AI-based educational apps are also becoming popular among students as they offer a more interactive and engaging learning experience. With the growing popularity of AI in education, it is likely that we will see even more innovative applications of this technology in the future.
Dev is Distinguished Professor, and Fuloria is Professor, ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad