With the education news full of teacher shortages and bigger classes, any parent could be forgiven for worrying that quieter children may lose out on attention and help when they need it.
Artificial Intelligence is already operating on some university campuses. At present it’s working more as administrative support than actually teaching, but the days of virtual tutors and teaching by artificial intelligence units are not far away.
Currently campuses using AI have a chatbot that can answer questions, help students with timetables and act as reminder for assignment deadlines or classes about to start. Information can be accessed by text or through an App and the longer it’s in operation the more intelligent it becomes as it fine-tunes responses to frequent questions.
There’s even a chatbot on one campus that monitors attendance, grades and overall performance, flagging up areas for attention by the student.
AI is already operating in many industries, with education behind many commercial operations. Businesses find it’s an excellent way of picking up the repetitive tasks leaving employees to tackle more interesting work.
The intention is not to replace teachers, but free them to help students on an individual level and give them more time by carrying out the administrative side of teaching.
Where AI is already in operation it’s interesting to note that students don’t confine questions to study topics. The AI system has picked up students suffering from depression or in danger of self-harm and flagged it up with the mental health service in the University. This allows them to get the help they need and cope better.
The shape of things to come
Imagine what a difference it would make if your child had a virtual teacher delivering the facts and information they need, with a human teacher providing one-to-one or one-to-few support?
We’ve gone from scratchy nibs and ink pots to tablets and sophisticated software so why not embrace the next step into the future?