Venture capitalists assess the value of a project based on its potential return on investment.
Unlike in other sectors such as finance or healthcare, it is much harder to come up with a clear estimate of the return on investment in the education sector.
This is why the application of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and big data to education projects has been snail-paced.
Still, I can feel a revolution in education is slowly brewing, particularly in the United States, and possibly in China, too.
Based on my observations, there are several notable technology trends that may gain widespread reception in the education sector. These are:
* Natural-language processing (NLP), which has reduced the barrier in language listening, writing and comprehension.
* Smart terminals, which will help record and quantify the learning process, such as mood, health and family conditions of students.
* Machine learning, which will help identify students’ learning issues and tackle them.
* Automatic dialogue technology, which will help reduce the repetitive work of teachers.
* Visual analytical tools, which will help parents, teachers and students to gain a deeper understanding of subjects and issues.
Microsoft is working on some related projects. It has made good progress in India. I’ve also seen some deep-learning projects in China.
I believe technology will help teachers do a better job, not replace them.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my teacher, Ms. Lam, who really cared about her students, including myself. This sort of relationship is something technology can never deliver.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 21
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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