The Age of AI in Education: Promises and Concerns
A blog by Sirsendu Das, Senior Learning Architect, Excelsoft
Remember AlphaZero that defeated Stockfish, which was the best chess program in the world? In 2017, it won 28 games, drew 72, and lost none. The next year, while playing 1000 games against Stockfish, it won 155, lost 6, and the rest were held a draw.
So what was so special about AlphaZero?
AlphaZero had no predefined moves or strategies from human play. It was a genuine product of Artificial Intelligence (AI) training where developers keyed in the chess rules and coded the program to develop strategies that improve the chances of winning every match. Just a self-training of 4 hours made AlphaZero the world’s most effective chess module. No human has ever beaten it.
It’s time we take AI and Machine Learning (ML) seriously. They are showing immense potential to create new types of businesses across business operations with striking results.
To check the popularity, I immediately started my research with Google. Searching “What is Human intelligence?” fetched 10 billion results in 0.42 seconds, whereas “What is Artificial Intelligence?” generated about 5.8 billion results in just 0.52 seconds.
The day is not far when AI (Inorganic Intelligence) will leave Human intelligence(Organic Intelligence) behind.
Welcome to the new world, where organic is meeting the inorganic.
AI is making that happen everywhere, and it’s viral!
AI is not an industry or a domain, let alone a single product. It is an enabler that has the capacity to learn, evolve, and surprise. It will disrupt and transform the human experience to levels that were not experienced up until now.
So, can we call this a new age?
As you know, human civilizations progressed with Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, developing competencies using the materials and technology of each of the ages. Till the end of the 20th century, humans with better cognitive abilities have enjoyed success at work. However, with computing advancements in the 21st century, we are experiencing a disruption that has embarked us on a new age of freedom, where information and decision come for free.
We live in the AGE of AI
Every day, everywhere, AI is gaining popularity, and one of the biggest beneficiaries might be education. While AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about education, there are still many challenges and concerns that need to be addressed.
By the way, the presence of AI in Education is significant, with a valuation of $4 billion in 2022, and is projected to expand over 10% CAGR from 2023 to 2032. AI in Education Market Statistics, Trends & Growth Opportunity 2032 (gminsights.com).
In our recent Townhall, almost every conversation on Education Technology converged to AI and its impact. A question that gained everyone’s attention was, “In Education, who should benefit the most from AI?
Our CEO’s response was very candid, “AI should impact the student experience and improve performance outcomes.” He also added that the other stakeholders will also get their share of the pie by analyzing the insights from student engagement.
Let me summarize the takeaway.
In the EdTech domain, AI should serve the “King” aka THE LEARNER.
When they benefit, other stakeholders will get a share of the pie.
The big question revolves around the impact that AI will bring on education.
On my way to Mumbai, I had a conversation with a principal. He was both excited and skeptical about AI and was seeking answers to his questions.
- What does AI-enabled education look like?
- Will AI replace human intellect or critical thinking?
- What do AI-enabled assistants mean to children?
- Will AI-based assessments used for shaping human action be allowed?
- Will cheating be rampant and cripple the learning model in education?
- Should we teach children how to frame compelling questions and AI will do the rest?
I explained to him that the integration of AI in education could provide dynamic learning environments that are accessible, engaging, effective, and offer personalized learning experiences with intelligent tutoring systems.
But I still saw the worry in his eyes. He said, “My friend, it is important to strike an equilibrium between technology and human interaction, ensuring safe and secured learning environments.”
His words made me think about the opportunities that AI can offer to students and also its ramifications. AI can:
- Personalize learning with tailored learning interventions, real-time feedback and opportunity for graded practice.
- Enhance learning support and prioritize learning interventions along with improved assessment quality.
- Present immersive experiences and enhance learner participation in regulated real-world situations.
- Increase accessibility for learners.
- Save costs by automating difficult tasks and facilitating customized instructions.
- Revolutionize smart content creation by generating tailored learning materials.
- Enhance the ease of performing administrative tasks and improve the efficiency of learning delivery.
- Provide access to educational resources, particularly for students with limited access.
- Analyze data patterns by using AI algorithms to detect early warning signs and alert educators for timely interventions.
However, we also need to be responsible enough to address the following:
- Strengthen the bias and Inequality algorithms with continuous monitoring. This will help remove the learning and assessment bias.
- Address privacy and security concerns as AI-powered learning systems gather a wide range of student information, including their behavior, learning progress, and personal data.
- Address the tech dependencies and their impact on learners’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Even a continuous upgrade of modern technology to ride this AI wave is worrisome.
In conclusion, AI holds great promise for the future and will play a pivotal role in shaping our lives. The integration of AI in education holds tremendous potential for transforming learning environments. However, legislatures, policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, and technology enthusiasts must work together to ensure that AI-driven learning platforms and tools are used ethically and responsibly. By leveraging AI’s capabilities, education can become more accessible, engaging, and effective.