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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

This time it isn't hype: How AI will change education

Like the web browser and the smartphone, AI will transform society, writes John Bailey on The 74. It's not quite there yet, but it's improving very rapidly. Soon, he predicts, "AI assistants will liberate educators from mundane and tedious tasks, allowing them to spend more time with students." Equitable, effective and individualized learning could become a reality.

Ed tech hasn't lived up to the hype before, Bailey concedes. He thinks this is the real deal.

Every student could have a tutor able to "offer explanations, guidance and real-time feedback tailored to each learner’s unique needs and interests," Bailey writes. Khan Academy and DuoLingo are piloting GPT-4 powered tutors.

Every teacher could have an assistant who could generate lesson plan ideas, develop worksheets, draft quizzes and translate content for English Learners, he writes. Administrative tasks could be automated.

Everyone's worried about students using chatbots to write their essays. But AI can critique students writing, helping students improve, writes Bailey. "It also provides immediate help when students are stuck on a concept or project."

Education Week looks at the future of AI in education in a special report.

Arianna Prothero talked to Peter Stone, a professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Austin, about how AI could change teaching and learning.

"Automated curricula" won't replace teachers, says Stone. "there’s still room for a person’s intuition, to watch the student where they’re struggling and to adjust the curriculum."

I don’t think there’s any danger that (AI is) going to be better than individualized attention from a human teacher. On the other hand, it may not be a stretch for it to be much better than having no teacher or having a teacher who’s in a classroom that has way too many students for them to pay attention to.

Stone chairs the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100), and is a signatory of an open letter from AI experts and tech leaders calling for a 6-month pause on the development of new AI systems.

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>Like the web browser and the smartphone, AI will transform society

My guess is that this is an understatement. I think AI will be big. Really big. Riots in the streets. Congressional hearings. Some deaths. See: Luddite riots.

As with the Industrial Revolution, things will quiet down and a new equilibrium will be reached. Still, it will be an interesting few years.

With any luck the public school system will be completely destroyed and a new system will replace it.



Try Duolingo. The current free version of Spanish has brick and mortar beat because of reduced logistics, efficiency, and fingertip availability of appropriate audio as well as some control over pacing. And then throw in the time savings with no commute and better personal safety. I would not say its better than a live class with a competent teacher and learners who are participating at roughly the same ability level, but that situation is not widely available. Post nclb, public high school here offered only the half speed version without a textbook or audio resources and dropped about a third of the units. Duolingo is one of many resources for students who want to learn at an appropriate pace …

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