Date
12 December 2017
AI-enabled programs won’t take away teachers’ jobs. Instead, they will help teachers understand students better and do a better job. Photo: Teachthought
AI-enabled programs won’t take away teachers’ jobs. Instead, they will help teachers understand students better and do a better job. Photo: Teachthought

It’s time to bring AI into classrooms

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a lot of potential to play a bigger role in education now, compared to, say, three decades ago.

For instance, it’s not easy to achieve small-group teaching in Hong Kong given the current circumstances. Students can’t obtain personalized guidance that meets individual demand. Amid this scenario, AI can be used to take over time-consuming duties from teachers, who will then have more time to spend on their students.

A growing number of American online education companies are looking to AI to upend traditional classrooms. The time is ripe to apply AI in education, which will enable students to obtain better education. Some companies are developing AI-enabled programs to help students in their homework, entities such as Carnegie Learning and ThinksterMath.

These programs allow students to learn in a more relaxed and flexible environment, and they enjoy something close to one-on-one tutor services.

For example, mainland Chinese schools used reading record of e-books to understand the correlation of students’ interests and their scores in order to draw up a teaching plan.

In this way, AI has enabled teachers to understand more about students’ strengths and weaknesses, and the underlying reasons.

AI-enabled programs won’t take away teachers’ jobs; instead, they would help teachers do a better job.

Recently, Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Bureau highlighted big data platforms. I believe the government should utilize big data from primary and secondary schools and universities, as it offers a promising direction for AI application.

School data is easier to integrate as the data sets are very complete and trackable.

In China, we’ve already seen good progress in such applications in cities such as Hangzhou and Suzhou, with promising initial results.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 25

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.

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