Where cultural zeitgeist is concerned, artificial intelligence is both today’s ultimate breakthrough technology and a bit of a buzzword. It is, however, changing many facets of our lives, some of them quite noticeably. Whether AI is applied in business, industry, healthcare or education, it is often used as more or less an umbrella term, meaning that a product or system has something to do with big data, machine learning, pattern recognition and cognitive analysis, natural language processing (NLP), computer vision, neural networks, and so on.
Individually or combined, these aspects of artificial intelligence proper can power a variety of tools, educational aids, and digital learning platforms. Their main objective is to assist, augment, and streamline the traditional classroom experience without necessarily disrupting its core processes (so no “sentient robots to take teachers’ jobs” or “artificial intelligence to replace educational systems” here, sorry).
With that in mind, here are four examples of real-life applications of AI changing the classroom, from established projects to soon-to-be-reality initiatives.
1. Voice assistants as teachers’ allies
The idea to apply voice assistants as teachers’ aides is nothing new—after all, the “assistant” part of the label defines their purpose rather unambiguously. Based on NLP, speech recognition and generation technology, virtual assistants are perhaps the most noticeable ‘AI-infused’ presence in our lives. Mostly associated with smart home and personal devices, they are soon believed to become no less than expected presence in classrooms, especially in primary schools.
Spelling and reading assistance, classroom activity management aids, and reference desks are the most common use cases at the moment. With the development of third-party app ecosystems around Alexa and other smart speaking tech, the role of voice assistants as limited but indisputable classroom allies is only to be expanded to the areas of learning foreign languages, resource searching, reference checking, and others.
While the concerns