I had just arrived for a family function with a horde of relatives when our host, seemingly enjoying himself to music on TV, announced upon our arrival: "OK Google, turn down volume by 20%." This has now become the common cliché in most households; the common cliché being the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) system and its usage in everyday life. As a teacher, I wonder how technology has been involved in our educational system, and sure enough, while many articles have been written, most advocating and welcoming the small waves of change; some debating whether its presence is reassuring or threatening; one thing (which, again, is no novel thought) that has been said is that technology is growing, improving, and rapidly becoming a part of our life; growing, perhaps in tandem with us, and attempting to understand us in an unprecedented way.
Research and news show us of various universities coming up with chat bots and the latest buzz in AI-related education is ‘Yuki’, the bot professor. One of the myriad ways in which learners could benefit from technology is they could transform the way they approach a subject or topic. It could alter the pace at which a learner learns, customising and tailoring in a way which may not be possible inside a classroom. With the help of AI one could assess learning and get instant feedback. Developers are coming up with robots that could read a learner’s expression and attempt to understand the possible difficulties to work out plausible strategies to make the process of learning easier. In other words, we have something at our command that monitors and checks our progress to give solutions for improvement.
We live in a posthuman era already with technology and machines doing a lot of work and assisting us in fields such as medicine. With science and technology taking giant leaps, one could expect a major shift in teaching and learning tendencies with teachers and learners tilting more towards systems and processes that cater to their individual, specific needs. With this will also arise the need for learners to be digitally literate.
While in the West, some universities do assist students with chat bots, like the ‘Beacon’, for instance, AI is yet to make a strong statement in India. Education, although, is rapidly changing with universities and top international schools in mumbai assimilating machines to aid enhance learning. However, the scenario is quite progressive with CP Goenka's international school in Thane, which is merging technology and advanced science to shape the young minds of growing India.
Quoting Pramod Sharma, CEO of ‘Osmo’, a company which was recently acquired by ‘Byju’s’, the learning app could undergo a “solid transformation with AI incorporated within it in the next 18 months.” With this rapid growth, it is only a matter of time when learning with the help of AI, like everything else today, would become a common household cliché.