Ed Machina

By Jennifer Eng | June 20, 2016

We’ve come to accept that artificial intelligence isn’t just the subject of countless sci-fi films. It’s clearly coming to the business world, and now ultimately, to education. With the “growing recognition of the connections between computer technologies, social environments, and embodied human experience,” Pearson and IBM have focused efforts around using AI to advance education. Pearson recently published a report arguing that AI “can transform teaching and learning.” This does not mean sentient AI teachers, but rather using AI to provide “real-time data on education and learning” to create a more personalized and engaging learning environment. IBM has focused its efforts on “cognitive learning systems,” or “a category of technologies that uses natural language processing and machine learning to enable people and machines to interact more naturally to extend and magnify human expertise and cognition.” IBM’s Cognitive Computing for Education program includes “cognitive tutors” and assistants designed to better understand and support learner needs, and in turn, also serves to enhance the roles of teachers. IBM and Pearson are not alone. In fact, Colorado State University will begin using Cognii’s AI software in online psychology courses next fall to provide immediate feedback on student essays. If AI can positively impact learning, how can it affect the workplace? For a thoughtful take on how AI and automation will impact jobs and the future of work, listen to a16z’s recent podcast with Tom Davenport and Harvard Business editor Julia Kirby.

Jennifer is the Marketing Manager at Practice. She has a background in education, hospitality, and publishing, and is an advocate for lifelong learning. Jennifer is a JET Program alumna and a Room to Read volunteer.

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