Technology Author: Qasim Khan May 06, 2019 04:15 PM (GMT+8)

AI is trying to make education more personalized and change the mainstream method of big class education

Teacher from the Future. Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

At first Artificial intelligence was only limited to measurements and such small activities, then it started to push through to increase the learning efficiency of the students and now it is helping teachers with their teaching method and as well as the teaching content. AI is trying to make education more personalized and change the mainstream method of big class education, but not only in the back end system voice but also through cartoons, pictures of robots and as well as through an image of a real teacher.

Liulishuo is a company which has adopted the full-on AI teacher and has been listed in the US. Since its listing, the word “AI teacher” has been a hot topic for every other listed education company. At first Artificial intelligence in the education, the industry was only limited to measurements and such small activities, then it started to push through to increase the learning efficiency of the students and now it is helping teachers with their teaching method and as well as the teaching content.

The Chinese government has made AI-enabled education a national strategy, a part of an AI development road map that aims to make the country a global center of AI innovation by 2030, according to a government plan released by China’s State Council in July 2017.


Jingmeiti has compiled a list of Education company representatives and their views on the AI teacher topic.

AI teacher is not a real human being and has no emotions, will the students feel a bit distant?

The founder of Squirrel AI, Derek Li (栗浩洋) says that there is no denying the AI teacher has a huge gap between its perception and a real person. However, if we talk about the distance of students, we can actually compare them. In a class first is the teacher and the second thing is the textbook. So as far as the textbooks are concerned AI teacher centered companies have animated letters and numbers. So if compared to a traditional offline class the AI class is better in all aspects other than the real teacher. 

Qu Zhu Qifeng a founder of another AI is driven language teaching company, Kouyu100, says, the removal of this sense of distance requires a rich variety of user interaction designs, not just artificial intelligence technology. On October 14, 2018, seventh birthday of Kouyu100’s AI teacher “Aryn”, she received more than 2 million students giving her virtual flowers and thousands of student birthday sending her birthday cards. The relationship between students and teacher is very important even after years, students tend to remember the companionship of the teacher.

To achieve this goal it requires a variety of designs. For example, Aryn uses an animated design, a variety of humane personalities, an interesting, encouraging language, as well as various expressions and body language.

At present, products mainly include AI synthetic image, animation IP, and live video. Which image is more suitable for AI teachers, and why? In addition, for the AI teacher, is it 1 on 1, more suitable or 1 to many?

Derek Li (栗浩洋) said that education should be one on one at the end. Most of education is still one-to-many. This is because there is no way. Just as China’s transportation was mainly by bus and train decades ago, everyone’s traffic is a one-to-many form. One-on-one is the ultimate form of the highest efficiency of education. It is also the best solution for AI education to reduce costs significantly and combine high-quality and scarce educational resources.

Qu Zhu Qifeng replied to this question as: the most important thing in teaching is personalization which can only be achieved by one on one classes. The artificial intelligence teacher and the student's relationship is the in one-on-one classes, it is personalized and completely aimed towards the student's weak points, this way one can achieve the best teaching results. 

The product manager of VIPKID LIN Chenbin (林陈斌) on this topic said that From the perspective of cost and experience maturity, animated IP and live video are more suitable for k12 education. The animation IP is especially suitable for small and low-level students, that is, students in the third grade of elementary school; live-action videos are suitable for small high-level users.

How does the AI teacher's teaching process meet the needs of students?

Because English teaching is a process that requires continuous and immediate interaction and feedback, the role of the teacher is particularly important. The most important thing is to fix the teaching methods and communication habits that teachers and children develop in primary language teaching.

The teaching effect of AI teachers has been recognized all over the world. Whether it is the man-machine war in America or the man-machine war done by squirrel AI in China. It has been proved that the effect of AI+education is better than that of senior teachers and teachers of special grade. This is also borne out by a large number of years of long-term teaching studies in the United States and China, two or three years in which the level of AI education has far surpassed that of human teachers, Said Derek Li, the founder of Squirrel AI.

He further added that the Ministry of Education’s website has a conclusion that AI will not replace the teacher, but teachers who do not use AI will be replaced. In fact, this is illustrated. I also hope that everyone will overcome the state of technological advancement from the real teacher to the AI teacher as soon as possible. We have found that technological advancement has changed our lives in all walks of life, and we only need to find more ways to adapt to it.

Lin Chenbin, VIPKID’s project manager, on the other hand, says that AI teachers have three major advantages. 
• AI teacher can master the data in the classroom in a large amount and in depth through various sensors.
• Using AI one can make correct feedback for each student individually. a human teacher can only give feedback based on the student's pronunciation and that too in a one on one class. The AI teacher can do it for each student in the class at the same time. 
• AI teacher has a richer personality, especially AI teachers developed by giants like TAL and New Oriental have multiple expressions such as cute, teasing, funny, etc., to attract the attention of students.  

AI teachers can further break through the imagination of the students, and constantly attract the attention of the users by introducing animation and designing various atmosphere effects, thereby attracting students' attention and improving learning efficiency.

Are the current AI's technical reserves not enough to support the teaching application? 

In the AI field, technology is divided into three categories: one is a technology that has matured and is already used on a large scale, and is very reliable. For example, face recognition has been widely recognized and used in airport security and bank verification, and its reliability is far more than human level. The second category is speech recognition. In the field of speech recognition and shorthand, the level of AI has now reached a level of widespread use. The third type of mature AI technology is a smart adaptation technology. All of AI's smart-adapted education companies have more than 20 million users in the United States and more than 80 million users worldwide and are already a very mature system. This is a typical upgrade to education through technology, said Derek LI.

VIPKID’s representative said, “It depends on our expectations of AI. We (VIPKID) never think that we need to completely replace the entire teaching task with AI. We hope to respect the teaching rules, fully understand the advantages of AI, partially replace and even optimize the online teaching links under the premise of ensuring the teaching effect. Therefore, we (VIPKID) put forward the concept of "AI teaching assistant" and "AI learning partner".

LIN further added, First of all, you can't break away from the essence of teaching, you can't take the lead, you don't need to deliberately introduce high-tech and cool skills. The premise of a good AI class needs to be a good lesson. This requires an in-depth study of all the elements that a good class needs to have and preserves the various teaching links in the course as much as possible to ensure the delivery of teaching results. In this process, we use AI technology and product expressiveness to carefully polish and optimize each small link.