Vineet Gupta of Ashoka University Says “AI will play a key role in a rapidly changing education environment”

Ritika Pathak

, News

A recent report released by UNESCO idetifies education as one of the key areas which can be transformed with the efficient use of Artificial Intelligence or AI. “The market for AI in India is expected to breach USD 8 Billion by 2025 and this technology will be a key growth driver in information technology, research and data science,” adds Vineet Gupta of Ashoka University

AI as a technology is set to take over many services and processes out of human hands and is already becoming a part of our lives. Whilst the contribution of AI has been largely transformative, there have been the cases where AI modules have shown some erratic patterns which could be considered a threat. The UNESCO report has hence stressed on ethical use of AI and the need for a regulatory framework.

Implications of AI in Education

  1. AI can transform technical education – Leveraging AI tools, students can find multiple possibilities and solutions to complex problems much faster than ever before. This ability to outsource or assign certain tasks to AI gives students the leeway to better utilize their time.
  2. AI is a boon for physically impaired students – A lot of innovation is going on in the learning sector, that is leveraging AI to create powerful tools that help disadvantaged students with their learning. Individuals with impaired vision can, for instance, use speech to interact with AI assistants, who, based on commands or requests, can communicate with the speaker thus, enabling exchange of information and ideas. Those who have a hearing disability can similarly use an AI chatbot for interaction and learning.
  3. AI helps streamline evaluation – A well designed AI tool can effectively eliminate the need for human intervention in evaluating test papers and save a huge amount of time and resources spent on evaluation.
  4. AI makes edtech better – “AI tools are increasingly being integrated with edtech tools to understand each and every unique user. Based on how an individual responds to preset questions, AI can personalize content for the user. A personalized learning approach ensures that the individual finds the content and approach proposed by the edtech tool more engaging and immersive for them ultimately leading to better retention rates for students and enhanced effectiveness for edtech companies.
  5. AI can run real life simulations before experiments – “Artificial Intelligence tools are designed to analyze complex situations and come up with a variety of possible outcomes or possibilities for the end user. This aspect of AI is particularly helpful when an individual is considering performing a dangerous lab experiment and needs to reduce risk”, explains Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
  6. Gamification of education: AI-powered game-based learning can make education more engaging and enjoyable for students. This can lead to increased student motivation, improved knowledge retention and better learning outcomes.
  7. Predictive analytics: AI can analyze student data to predict future performance and guide decisions about course placement and teacher allocation. Predictive analytics can help to identify students who are at risk of falling behind, enabling early intervention and support to help them succeed. This can help to improve educational outcomes and reduce the achievement gap between students.

AI – an overkill?

With more research, AI modules continue to evolve and learn faster than the human mind can comprehend information. However, caution needs to be exercised in how much control we let AI have, because the fear of this technology going rogue always exists. Recently, there were reports of how an Amazon Alexa enabled device potentially instructed a young child to do a lethal challenge and such incidents though isolated need to be carefully looked at by developers and OEMs. There were also reports of a Google AI chatbot becoming sentient earlier, which was never confirmed but again gives the naysayers plenty of ammunition to raise concerns.

AI and IOT – here to stay despite the concerns

 “AI and IOT enabled devices have definitely made life far easier for millions of people around the globe. Like, with every technology, there are concerns, but the positives in this case far outweigh the negatives. It is now up to policy makers to sit together with all industry stakeholders from both public and private institutions to determine to what extent AI can be leveraged for education in India and then design a regulatory framework which everyone can adhere to. Our neighbour China has already integrated AI into their education system to a great extent and the United States is running several pilot programmes in AI education. Applications in India are developing fast and we need to accelerate adoption of this technology or face the risk catching up in the future”, concludes Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.


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