Artificial Intelligence

Not a day goes by when you don’t hear a news about robots and Artificial Intelligence being used in some industry, which has so far been an exclusive domain of human workers. Industries like manufacturing and automobile are often considered most suitable for robots due to the routine nature of the work and the workloads involved.

But one industry where Artificial Intelligence has really stolen a march is Education! When in other areas researchers are still debating pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence, it has already seen some real world massive use in Education.

Do you know that the NAPLAN exams, the equivalent of American SAT, is all set to evaluate student essays by an artificially intelligent computer software!

Computer technology is also used to tailor curriculum to student needs, evaluate student responses and assist in teacher training.

Another education area where Artificial Intelligence has made a big impact is English language testing. Thousands of people each week sit for one or the other English language tests to meet their visa requirements for studying or working in a country like Australia or the USA.

Till a couple of years ago, this was considered to be an area exclusively for human examiners because of the fine nuances of English language. However, in the last couple of years Pearson’s PTE exam has really disrupted the landscape. PTE Academic (Pearson’s Test of English, Academic version) is an English language test administered on and also scored entirely by a computer software. As per Sure Way English, a PTE Academic online coaching provider, PTE is now the most preferred exam for Australian visas.

At the heart of PTE Academic, is the artificial intelligence software that evaluates the written and spoken responses at a level of accuracy equal to if not higher than human examiners. The AI algorithm works on a database of sample responses that has taught the system to distinguish between a good response and a bad response on a number of complicated patterns. The system can easily judge the tone, the pronunciation, the fluency, the language diversity and usage demonstrated in the student responses.

When the exam initially started there was a wide ranged skepticism about its accuracy. People also thought that it will be an easy task to trick the computer software. This explains the mushrooming of the “tips and tricks” industry around PTE Academic. However, people soon found out that it is not that simple. The software does not work on dumb matching at all!

The use of software and smart technology always plays an important role in coaching students for PTE Academic. The online PTE coaching program by Sure Way English for example has a sophisticated software that focuses on the same parameters that are evaluated by the Pearson’s AI system. Each PTE Question type is like a separate software module with its own user interface, scoring system and rules.

In a couple more years, it is estimated that almost a 100% of such exams will be evaluated by computer software. The advantages are obvious – huge cost saving, fast results turnaround and absence of any human bias! Moreover, the younger generation seems very much at home working on a computer and taking a test on a software.

Education therefore is one area which seems to be most suited for computer technology and Artificial Intelligence.


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