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  • Writer's pictureAditya Gupta

Transformers of Education

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

While reading Ray Bradbury’s ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’ in my English class, I had the slow realization that everything in the story, be it automated homes or cleaning droids, is slowly becoming a reality. Deep in thought, I wondered how google classroom a highly sought after teaching tool might soon look obsolete in front of AI-based tools which could forever redefine learning. That is when I began to ponder upon the question – What direction would education and learning move towards with advancements in AI technology?

Changes unimaginable till a few years back seem so realistic nowadays that any unsettling idea would settle in a matter of seconds. We are slowly moving towards a new era of mankind without the slightest knowledge of what lays ahead of us. Currently, we are seeing a major transformation in all aspects impacting or relating to us. Physically driving a car is set to become a thing of the past with autonomous driving taking over the steering wheel and self-learning computer minds are recommending us what to watch next on Netflix are all examples of how AI is reshaping our lives and changing everything.

Seeing how everything these days is slowly being integrated with AI it would be safe to say that ai in the coming decade would change what learning stands for in today’s world.

Education would see a drastic change and the most radical one will be seeing robots replacing teachers: a scary thought at the very least. Imagine having a robot for a teacher, it would be especially cool in the beginning. But then the lack of the freedom to make critical decisions not written in software, the lack of having human feelings to relate more closely with students and the very lack of human neurology make it a big no-no in the current context, although in the coming years it might seem to be a reasonable proposition. It would be safe to assume that virtually assisted classes, AI-based grading and such like coming to the forefront of this revolution.

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Like Netflix’s personalized recommendation system would be our personalized tutors who are virtual assistants. These tutors would give us personalized feedback, teaching sessions and all that we could possibly ask for. They would do a lot of good like helping lift weaker students, pushing top performers to strive further and lift the average student to being a top performer. It would be like our personal teacher integrated into a compact screen. This doesn’t mean that teachers would soon be replaced, this simply means that teachers would be pushed into a more passive role and roles of a facilitator.

Seeing physical classes being transformed into digitized classes with virtual assistants taking the role of teachers sounds realistic a few years down the line as digitized classroom-based learning is already present with platforms like coursera and khan academy. This would hugely benefit us as we would see greater flexibility in our learning hours as we could now learn at any point during the day. Even our grading could someday be done by AI, a pleasing thought at the very least. The pains of corrections would soon be taken over by an AI-based system freeing up teachers to more productive tasks.

But despite all these goods, there’s a lot left to question such as the evident lack of feelings and emotions in these robots and virtual assistants. Imagine learning in an environment where all the side conversations and scoldings given by teachers won’t be present and only the monologue boring dialogue of robots would be present. This is exactly what could happen when ai slowly advances. AI’s inability to provide with the emotional connect and support provided by teachers is something to question as that connect and support is vital to teaching and learning. And the very lack of human neurology and critical decision-making skills make it a non-feasible idea.

But still, most of the lackings and flaws prevalent in the current halls of education would be somewhat answered by advancements in AI making learning and education less painful for all. Whether AI’s complete do-over of education and learning could be a boon or bane is for us all to decide and mull over. Yes, it would provide us with solutions for making learning less painful but gauging the limitations that it could have is something we need to do before celebrating the presence of such marvellous structures. In the end, I’d say that artificial intelligence proves to be a boon for education and most importantly students as it answers the problems most affecting them but a clearer picture won’t surface until we fully experience these advancements. It is safe to say that AI-based systems for educational purposes are being developed and in the time to come education and learning would make an evident shift to AI-based technology but whether that will prove beneficial is something that we will know only in due course of time. #AI#Education

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