May 30, 2024

The Dichotomy of AI: Blessing or Curse? – Education

Education stands as a fundamental human necessity. It serves as the bedrock for competence in all endeavours, an essential prerequisite for meaningful action. With knowledge and understanding as its cornerstone, education becomes the pivotal tool that empowers us to shape our aspirations into reality. The calibre of education directly influences our capacity to comprehend intricacies and foster aptitudes.

Education that we have now is broken and has a lot of drawbacks and breed skill-less, mediocre students. Many are not capable of critical thinking and others don’t find any upside of the current education system.The learning method that we have until now is memorization and We have to do something about these inefficiencies in the Education system and AI is the answer for it. 

Many schools and educational institutions have already started integrating AI into their systems and are seeing astonishing results. The kids and students are growing up with AI and AI will become a part of their life. So, Now we are left with few questions regarding AI in Education. They are : 

  1. How does AI benefit students and its use in learning?
  2. Are there any drawbacks by using AI in education?
  3. When do we call the Inclusion of AI a success in Education – In short what are the success metrics?

Potential benefits of AI

What is needed is that by integrating AI in classrooms it should increase the efficiency of teaching and the main concentration should be students and their nurture. SO, let’s see what are the technologies and benefits that we get from AI in Education.

Personalization and tutoring 

We have all experienced studying in the traditional classrooms where one teacher is teaching a minimum of 30 students. Is that an efficient approach? From the students perspective some might understand the topic and some don’t, Some have doubts but fail to ask due to fear, Each have their own pace of learning etc.

There is a study that states students who have one to one tutoring perform better than the ones who sit in the class. With AI a Personal tutor is possible for every student.

Students are given chat bots that is trained on their syllabus and it is act as the personal tutor and following are the pain points that it solves for students:

  1. Questions can be asked without the fear of thinking it is a stupid or unreasonable question and all are answered without any judgement.
  2. Catering to the students Pace and style of learning.
  3. Analyse the students and understand where he stands weak and give examples so that they understand the concepts better.
  4. It can simplify complex concepts into easy and understandable analogies
  5. Immediate feedback to students and by which they can become aware of their strengths and weakness in the subject

Performance monitoring 

It is very difficult for a single teacher to keep a tab of every student’s performance manually. But with AI collecting the data from each student and analysing the data and generating a report of the student’s performance has become very easy. 

The report of the student might consists of data about CGPA, attendance, strong and weak topics based on his answers and active participants etc

AI for teachers 

The work that needs to be done by the traditional teacher will be taken care of by AI and hence the role of the teachers will be changed and the most of their work might include using AI in their day to day works and monitoring students performance. Some of them are:

  1. Monitoring students’ performance through dashboards that AI have collected and analysed and take any action.
  2. Planning of curriculum or developing a pedagogy for students.
  3. Using AI tools to create presentations and walkthroughs
  4. Conducting tests and Evaluating them using AI
  5. Analysing data provided by AI on students and make necessary changes in methods of teaching etc

Personality development and problem solving

Traditional education often falls short in fostering students’ problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills. AI offers a promising solution by providing practical exercises that encourage critical thinking. Moreover, AI has the potential to contribute to students’ personality development. This combined approach can equip students with skills applicable beyond academia, enabling them to effectively confront real-world challenges. A tangible illustration of such an approach is the “pymetrics test,” which serves as a test case challenging students and enhancing their abilities.

Gamification 

One of the major and successful inclusion in training and education in the last decade is Gamification and we saw significant improvements in both training and engagement of students towards learning. Even their motivation also increased. But there is a major drawback with it and that is, gamification technique effects are not long lasting. The effects become saturated with time. And with the inclusion of AI with gamification we can bring out the best in students and their engagement, motivations etc. AI will help personalise gamification experience according to the learner and it can be made long lasting. 

Both AI and gamification can go hand in hand very well and they compliment each other.

Simulations and virtual Reality learning

“Learn by doing” is the best way to gain a skill and expertise in any field. But in the traditional schools there is more studying, memorisation than actually practising any skill set. Many students wonder what is the real world application of the things we are learning. Since they don’t see the importance of knowledge they receive in the schools, they don’t show any interest in learning and lack curiosity. 

But with the help of simulations we can replicate the scenarios where a certain knowledge is applied and make students work or learn by practising. And AI can help in these use cases very well. 

AR and VR will help transform education in this case.

Other use cases of AI in education

  • Academic Research 
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Better communication among all the stakeholders involved 
  • Exam Integrity
  • Learning Management Systems etc

Potential drawbacks of AI

Every technology has some drawbacks and it is almost impossible to make any device or create a technology that doesn’t have any drawbacks. So let us see what are some drawbacks of AI.

Reduce in Human Interaction

There are many benefits in using AI in classrooms but all of those need interacting with the machines and computers but not with the real humans. So students might face difficulty in interacting with humans and we see that happening nowadays due to phones and social media. And AI might just make it much worse. 

Lack of Employment for Teachers

Well, it is not surprising that teachers have a threat of losing their jobs to AI and it is True. The role of the educator will change and teachers have to be trained accordingly but still the requirement of those educators also will be not in high numbers. 

And not only teaching jobs AI is going to disrupt every industry possible and many of them will be losing jobs.

Algorithmic Bias and indoctrination 

We have seen many examples that AI is not as objective as they are promoted. AI is as opinionated as humans because the one who codes or writes the algorithm is human itself and the data that it is trained on. So if AI is trained on only a particular type of data that has certain beliefs and ideology, then the same is going to give it to whoever is using that AI.

That makes it easier for the institutes to promote their agenda or propaganda towards children from a very young age. They won’t be having the ability to see or view things in multi dimensional and they might even lack empathy. 

I think this is the most important factor to be taken into consideration when integrating AI into schooling and education. 

Over Dependent and Lack of Thought of one’s own

There is a heavy chance of becoming Overly dependent on AI. Students when faced with any problems, instead of using their own brain and thinking through the solution they just might use AI for the solutions and we know how dangerous it is. If one starts to become over dependent on these kinds of technologies the thoughts, ideas and beliefs of the masses can be changed and controlled easily and people will still can’t figure out that they are misguided.

And we know all the answers can’t be found out by using AI and in such cases people who are dependent on AI for everything will be in a pinch. And we have recently seen that students are using chat-gpt to submit their class assignment and this does not require any thought on their part to write the assignment.

Creative fields and Classics endangerment 

Everyone thought that the mundane jobs like bricklaying and factory workers jobs will become extinct once the AI comes. But with the Chat-gpt and other AI tools like DALLE, Leonard.AI etc all the creative works like art, content and creative writing, storytelling etc are hit by AI. 

Now AI has come to the stage where it is capable of replicating voice and then composing music from scratch. So this makes me think that to learn an instrument like piano, guitar etc it takes years of practice to master it and compose music. But with the AI this can be done and compose a music bit in minutes. And with this if people want to compose any music or write lyrics they can use AI instead of learning any instruments. With this the interest or passion towards learning any real instruments becomes rare. We might see only a handful of real instrument musicians in future.

Not only Music but almost all the arts domain is at threat due to AI. So the educational institutes that teach art, music might become endangered.

Conclusion

The inexorable rise of AI has permeated and will continue to reshape diverse sectors and industries. Accompanied by its inherent merits and pitfalls, our objective must centre on harnessing AI’s potential for maximal gains. Simultaneously, it is imperative to recognize the associated challenges and proactively address them. Through strategic mitigation and innovative problem-solving, we can optimise AI’s advantages while navigating the complexities it presents. 

It is just important that we don’t forget the main objective of education and its purpose and since the current system of education is not working, we have started integrating AI to make it better. And we should have the clarity of what a piece of technology can do before introducing and would it cause any impairment to our objective and if it does this solution is not the right choice. Just because something is new or cool it should not be implemented without knowing the damage it can do. 

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