How we started thinking about making virtual study assistants
I’ll never forget the first time I tried Replika.ai “the AI companion who cares” as it inspired a lot of my early thinking about what AI is capable of and what we should have reservations about.
Using Replika.ai, seven million people have gained a virtual or artificial friend. It is a personalized friend designed to optimize how and with what frequency it pays attention to you. Of course the underlying problem is that friendship is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “a relationship of mutual affection between people”, mutual being the key word. While there is huge potential in using AI to combat loneliness, detect depression and combat self-harm, there are also tremendous pitfalls and potential mistakes to be made. I am more interested in applying the technology to help learners succeed in life. And the wishlist I have for AI applications in virtual student assistants is long, but I’ll highlight a few favorites:
- Imagine a world where we could get unlimited personalized and valuable qualitative feedback on our written and oral work on the fly.
- I wish my students had live insights into whether they are violating anyone’s copyrights or are guilty of plagiarism (as most cases of plagiarism are unintentional or self-plagiarism of your own previous publications).
- It would be empowering to have access to an early indication of what our grade will be if we hand in our work at a given state.
- Consider the usefulness of having access to iips and tricks on how to improve our work through small prompts that are timing to when you best receive feedback.
These are just some of the innovations that we currently have in our pipeline. All of them are testaments to our learning philosophy. empowering the learners to take the driver seat in their own careers, make informed decisions and develop throughout life.
If we look further into the crystal bowl, we will also see AI conversational partners that can help you prepare for a Model United Nations debate, AI assistants that have taken the course you are about to complete and can help guide you and AI chatbots that imitate historical figures that you can dialog with about their lives, experiences, and opinions curated to your grade level and interests.
What our virtual AI assistant does
Right now, we are innovating in the space of AI-driven virtual assistants based on the principles that we want to give the students on our learning platforms a virtual assistant or coach to help guide them through the learning process. Chatbots based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasing in popularity, especially in China. Momentum is happening now as chatbots become more and more intelligent and useful. Chatbots based on AI can consume extremely large amounts of data and information and are intelligent enough to learn from their interactions with users. Simply put; the more you interact with these chatbots, the cleverer they get!
Chatbots based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) are increasing in popularity, especially in China.
In our learning spaces, you meet me – or my digital twin. I can greet you, guide you through the digital offerings and provide you with information about things like how you navigate the platform and where to locate further information. You can ask me questions like: Where do I find the courses? What courses would you recommend to me based on my interests? Why should I do this specific exercise? Etc. etc.
Based on user interactions we recently made two additions to the bots, the ability to detect if someone is deliberating self-harm and added COVID-19 content to help encourage everyone to wash their hands etc. Of course, we are now moving into an area that can be difficult to talk about, but we take our responsibility for our learners’ safety very seriously.
My digital twin is currently training to be used with voice, and it is taking all the courses on TeacherLAB and the LAB. This means that it will soon be smarter than I am
My digital twin is currently training to be used with voice, and it is taking all the courses on TeacherLAB and the LAB. This means that it will soon be smarter than I am, and able to answer questions about the content of the 500+ courses and not just the platform. Once that update comes, maybe I’ll have to interact more with my bot to get smarter. Isn’t that something?
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