According to Bill Gates, the famous co-founder of Microsoft Corp., artificial intelligence (AI) is set to become the teacher’s pet, revolutionizing the way young learners develop reading and writing skills.
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In a keynote speech at the ASU+GSV Summit, Gates proclaimed that within the next 18 months, “the AIs will come in as a teacher’s aide and give feedback on writing. And then they will amp up what we’re able to do in math.” He added that intelligent chatbots like ChatGPT from OpenAI are already demonstrating remarkable fluency in reading and writing, which he believes will change the way students learn and improve their skills.
Gates is well-known for his passion for technology and has been vocal about his support for AI in education. Some experts have voiced concerns about the potential risks of relying on AI to teach students.
While Gates acknowledges these concerns, he remains optimistic about the future of AI in education.
“The idea of personalized learning where the software is deeply understanding where you are and giving you exercises that are uniquely beneficial for you … that’s very exciting,” he said.
ChatGPT Plus and other AI-powered tutoring services may not come cheap, but according to Gates, they’re still a more affordable and accessible option compared to traditional tutoring. Gates believes that fully embracing edtech tools could lead to greater progress in math scores than seen in the last two decades.
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The teaching profession has been facing a crisis of mental stress and exhaustion, with K-12 teachers reporting the highest burnout rate among all industries nationally, according to a June 2022 Gallup poll. AI could help alleviate some of the stress and workload on teachers.
With AI-generated lessons on the same subject, teachers can monitor a student’s progress and have more flexibility when missing school days — whether it’s the teacher or a student missing class.
Businesses are integrating AI into their existing models at unprecedented rates. Data compaction startup AtomBeam, for example, has partnered with giants like Lockheed Martin Corp. and Intel Corporation to use AI to help compact data.
“We’re seeing a major shortage of substitute teachers,” said David McGrath, headmaster of Paragon Prep, a high school in Austin, Texas. “Rather than putting a pause on instruction, how marvelous would it be if a teacher could program their own avatar to teach a lesson on a day they have to be out sick or at a conference? A staff member can sit in the room while the avatar plays on the screen.”
By leveraging AI-powered platforms, teachers can personalize learning experiences to fit individual student needs, enabling them to master concepts faster and achieve better educational outcomes — a win for everyone.
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