Can Artificial Intelligence be made a reality in the future of Indian Education?

Vibha Kagzi
Vibha Kagzi Oct 03 2017 - 8 min read
Can Artificial Intelligence be made a reality in the future of Indian Education?
With new modes of technology permeating our lives, can Artificial Intelligence change the future of Indian education. We believe so.

Those of you who watched the Tom Hanks movie, Minority Report may be able to relate to the power and potential of Artificial Intelligence. If you thought that movie was pure hogwash, and a flight of fancy, well, it’s time to take back those words. Because Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics are here and sneaking into your everyday life.

What’s Artificial Intelligence?

To put it simply, Artificial Intelligence(AI) is when computers get smart enough to create knowledge for future generation computer systems to learn and build on the accrued knowledge. You probably don’t know this, but you are already using AI through Apple’s Siri or Google Now. AI algorithms are designed to recognize speech, give you real-time updates on traffic conditions, make recommendations on what to read or watch, or play a chess game with you. IBM’s Watson, Google Deep Learning, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are the emerging AI systems that are slowly changing the technology landscape.

 Artificial Intelligence and the Future of the Indian Education Sector

Formal education in India is still based on a traditional model or brick-and-mortar schools. While this is the commonly accepted mode of formal education across the world, the education fraternity is opening up to online education or e-learning.

 India is also the world’s third-largest smartphone market with the number of users estimated to reach 369 million by 2018.The Internet offers huge accessibility to enroll for distance courses for the young demographic 15-40 years of age. They are the most active consumers of smartphones and the Internet. It is just a matter of time for Artificial Intelligence driven education systems to take over education for the new generation. Artificial Intelligencedriven systems have the potential to enhance education. Here are the top 5 ways how education can be positively impacted by Artificial Intelligence:

     AI-driven programs can give students and educators helpful       feedback.

Teachers can use AI systems to not only craft courses customized to student needs, but it can also provide feedback to both the student and the educator about the success of the course. Progress monitors and real-time feedback can enable the learning efficiency thereby giving better results of student performance.

Teachers can become facilitators, and play a greater role in education.

Teachers are integral to every education system, but most of the role entails repetitive tasks, that can easily be outsourced to technological systems. Administrative tasks such as grading papers, maintaining attendance sheets, and others can be programmed. AI systems could also be programmed to provide expertise, serving as a place for students to ask questions and find information. Teachers will supplement AI lessons, assist students who are struggling, and provide human interaction and hands-on experiences for students.

Artificial Intelligence systems address a number of socio-economic issues too. Since the traditional brick and mortar schools requires infrastructural support in rural and remote areas of India, the education sector is trying to overcome these hurdles by making technology as an enabler.

AI can change where and how students learn, and how they acquire basic skills.

Artificial Intelligence has the potential to radically change the way we understand education.Using AI systems, and software, students can learn from anywhere in the world at any time. From the comforts of their home, students get to access the best teachers, and learn at a time convenient to them. This is already happening in the form of online courses, MOOC, and video tutorials. In the recent years, thanks to online services, students connect with tutors and peers who stay in different geographies. AI and Machine enabled learning enable students to find remote help easily within seconds.

AI is changing the way we find and interact with information.

You are already acquainted with Google’s adaptive learning algorithm. When Google Now predicts the traffic on Maps, or recommends what to read, your choices and actions are feeding into Googles machine learning software to give you a refined search outcome. Google adapts results to users based on location. Likewise, reputed ecommerce platforms read into your activity, to recommend purchase items. If you browse through an ecommerce site such as Amazon, the program makes recommendations based on previous purchases. Siri adapts to your needs and commands

Over the past few decades, AI-based systems have already radically changed how we interact with information and with newer, more integrated technology, students in the future may have vastly different experiences doing research and looking up facts than the students of today.

Students feel less intimidated to learn by trial-and-error.

With an non-judgmental and unbiased program at your disposal, students find it more comfortable to learn through trial and error. The thought of falling short of the teacher’s expectations creates an impediment in the learning process. An intelligent computer system, designed to help students to learn, is much less daunting. Students feel liberated enough to experiment, and offer creative solutions for improvement


Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Future Career in Education

In the late 90s, India emerged as the outsourcing capital of the world, with many multinationals preferring to outsource back office tasks, and IT services like data entry, software testing at low prices as India abounds with cheap employment. However, with AI getting more adept at repetitive, rule-based work, the low-skill jobs, where the bulk of Indian IT workers are employed are going to be hard hit.It’s a reality one can't hide from. In the coming years, as machine learning gets more powerful, and technology becomes cheap, manual labor or semi-skilled work will become the domain of machines. Humans will be more empowered to fulfill intelligent, soft skill based task that machines are not yet equipped to do. Likewise, in the education sector, machine learning will be employed to tackle inefficiencies, redundancy, and errors. Teachers and school focus on progressive thinking by building on soft skills, talent development and career counseling.The future careers of teachers is not at risk from machines; instead it offers a golden opportunity for the teaching staff to upgrade their competencies.

Skilling up is the key to survival in the changing business environment. Schools and teachersneed to understand and value the importance of higher education, higher training, toget a global perspective to the problem.

This article is written by Ms. Vibha Kagzi, Founder and Chief Education Officer, Reachivy.com 



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