Technologies like conversational AI and robotic process automation (RPA) are already implemented in education, but generative AI has the potential to make an even bigger impact.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digital technologies to enhance education has significantly increased as many students around the world have had to shift to online learning. For example, investment in education for adopting innovative technologies increased from $7 billion to $20 billion during the pandemic. However, digital technologies also have the potential to transform the education experience in other ways beyond just online classes.
Technologies like conversational AI and robotic process automation (RPA) are already implemented in education, but generative AI has the potential to make an even bigger impact. Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can generate new forms of creative content, such as audio, code, images, text, simulations & videos and has become a major disruptive force in the field of education.
Generative AI has a wide range of applications in education, and here are some examples:
Personalized Learning - Generative AI can be used to create personalized learning experiences for students. For example, it can generate personalized study plans based on student performance and strengths/weaknesses.
Student Engagement - Generative AI can help keep students interested, connected, and motivated. For instance, it can be used to summarize long-read articles and texts, generate study materials, resources, and in-class activities, provide historical context, develop interactive presentations and alternatives, and create social media strategies and student marketing campaigns for upcoming events.
Assessment and Feedback - Generative AI can be used to enhance assessment and feedback for students. For example, it can generate questions for students to answer based on their current level of understanding and achievement.
Course Planning and Curricula - Generative AI can be used to enhance course planning and curricula. For instance, it can help identify gaps in course content, suggest new topics for inclusion in the curriculum, and recommend learning resources.
Teaching Students to Use GenAI - Generative AI can be used to teach students how to use the technology. For example, it can be used to generate prompts that guide students through the process of creating their own generative models.
While generative AI has opened-up new opportunities for enhancing student learning outcomes and improving educational practices, it also poses some potential challenges, for example:
Biases in Educational Materials - Generative AI models are only as good as the data they are trained on. If the data is biased, the model will be biased too. This can lead to biased educational materials that reinforce stereotypes and perpetuate discrimination.
False or Inaccurate Information - Generative AI models can generate false or inaccurate information, which can be harmful to students’ learning outcomes. This is especially true when the model is used to generate educational content that is not fact-checked by a human.
Abuse of Generative AI for Self-Interest - Generative AI can be used to create fake news, propaganda, and other forms of disinformation. This can be especially harmful in an educational context, where students need accurate information to learn effectively.
Unemployment Risks for Some Teachers or Other Education Professionals - Generative AI has the potential to automate certain tasks that are currently performed by teachers and other education professionals. This could lead to job losses in some areas of education.
“Generative AI like ChatGPT has the potential to transform various industries, including education, potentially bringing the sector forward into an increasingly more technologically-heavy future for all the good and the bad that it brings. On the whole, generative AI has the potential to complement educators and the EdTech sector in a multitude of creative and time-saving ways, revolutionizing the traditional classroom setting. However, there is no reward without risk, and education stakeholders must remain vigilant of potential drawbacks and challenges related to bringing generative AI solutions into schools.”
Geoffrey Alphonso CEO at Alef Education, Forbes, 3 March 2023