As the chief technology officer and assistant dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Paul Kim spends more time than most pondering how artificial intelligence (AI) can impact education. He believes most educators don’t think about it enough, and those who do worry too much about it. “We’re at a very early stage of understanding what AI can possibly do for us, especially in the education teaching system,” he says. “I think the possibilities are huge. hoc tieng anh o dau tot”
One thing he doesn’t see as a possibility? AI making human teachers obsolete.
One thing he doesn’t see as a possibility? AI making human teachers obsolete. “Some people say it will replace teachers, but I disagree,” he says. “I think AI will augment what educators do.”
One edtech company that has embraced an AI-plus-human-teacher approach is Squirrel AI Learning, a Chinese company that has opened over 2000 after-school learning centers in more than 400 cities across China in the past three years. Squirrel—so named because, like the furry, nut-gathering rodent, it is fast, agile, plans ahead and “cracks tough nuts,” according to founder and CEO Derek Haoyang Li—uses an AI adaptive learning system and human instructors to give students a personalized education on subjects ranging from Chinese language to physics.
With a primary to high school student base of nearly two million, the company has generated huge data sets that allow it to find deep patterns on concepts—be they algebraic equations or noun-verb agreement—that are difficult for certain types of students at certain levels. “We have decomposed knowledge points to the super nano level,” says Li. “We have divided mathematics, Chinese, English and physics learning into a large number of abilities, and we hope to help students not only to improve grades but also cultivate their inquiry, critical thinking and other skills through our innovative Modes of Thinking, Capacity, and Methods (MCM) model.”