When someone brings up artificial intelligence, you'll probably think about big sci-fi movies or a gadget like Amazon's Alexa. But AI isn't just a way to tell your speaker what Spotify song to play or ask about the weather for the day.
These days, it's getting simpler for even amateur coders to develop a bot. The impact? Developers are in high demand, creating everything from chatbots to personal assistants — why couldn't they help you with your homework? AI is still early along as a technology, but it's going to change how you tackle college in more areas than you can imagine.
AI makes your studying, work faster
When you're preparing for a course or exams, figuring out what you need to focus on can be tricky. Between your lecture notes, the textbook and any readings, there's always going to be more material than you'll know what to do with and it's hard to know how to prioritize your studying.
But with AI, developers have started to figure out ways to help you study quicker and smarter. In a lot of cases, these tools are powered by machine learning--a type of artificial intelligence where programs can learn from their old mistakes and improve by themselves.
A big area where this is helping out is intelligent tutoring systems, which describes apps that use AI to help out students when they're studying and learning. Programs like Carnegie Learning and Freckle work by going over subjects for you to figure out where you should spend time studying. These systems aren't like a normal software program that takes you through coursework and steps. Instead, it changes and tailors itself based on your abilities and progress.
AI also can help out when you're trying to do work outside of the classroom. Chatbots, which are AI-powered customer service chat programs, have been a popular way to use AI and it's carried over to colleges. If you've ever had to go to your college advisor, you know how hard it can be to figure out items like what course to take or what credits you need to graduate.
Programs like GoalBot work by bringing AI-powered chatbots into the process and help answer your questions automatically. Typically, chatbots work by tapping into their own wiki to quickly search for answers to questions and if the chatbot can't answer the question, it can pass it off to an actual person. Chatbots can't answer every problem, but they can help out schools or companies by automatically taking care of easier problems.
"AI needs to be seamlessly integrated into a student's workflow for it to be successful," Ken Lane, chief technology officer at Tanjo, said. "Utility and ease of use are essential for mainstream adoption of AI tools such as Goalbot."
AI makes your professor's classroom smarter
On paper, AI is a pretty broad technology that has the potential to change the world as we know. AI can automate factory processes, power your home lights, and even queue your favorite music to play as you enter your home. For education, it's going to have similar automating effects in the classroom. For instance, AI and machine learning are already available in classrooms through tools like Microsoft's Presentation Translator, which adds real-time subtitles to teacher lectures. For professors, AI can even be used to go over the grades and performances of students during the semester. There are tools that use predictive behavior modeling to help out students who could be at risk of failing a course and intervene before it's too late.
AI has also improved how easily professors can detect cheaters and plagiarism in their class. Using a combo of machine learning and text analysis, popular anti-plagiarism tools like Emma Identity can also check papers to see if they're copying the style and words from other articles.
We're a far way down the road from your classes being run by a computer, but AI still looks to make its way into classrooms in a lot of different areas. Whether it's helping your graduate assistant grade essays or walking you through yesterday's lecture, AI is going to make the college of the future a lot different than it is right now.