We hear about it every day, but it’s not a trend.
Artificial intelligence will become the “new normal”, an element that will be incorporated into any technology and, above all, the protagonist of our daily lives.
Think of smartphone virtual assistants and chatbots already capable of replacing customer service agents in many operations. Or again, let’s think of the cars that in a few years will be able to do without a driver – prototypes already circulate on the roads of the most advanced countries – or even the flying taxis that in the future will be able to plow the skies of our cities (visionary companies like Uber are already thinking about it).
A phenomenon without limits: the incredible potential contained in the acronym “AI”, Artificial Intelligence, can also be released among the university benches, also because the world of learning and training is to be years fertile ground for research and the introduction of new models for the transmission of content.
In this context, the word Edtech summarizes the technological levers that the various stakeholders in the education sector (schools, universities, companies) have put in place to facilitate learning and improve educational results.
Suffice it to say that in 2017 alone, around 9 billion euros were invested globally in projects, initiatives and companies related to the topic of technology in teaching, with a particular focus on learning platforms and digital content delivery (ebook, video lessons, university courses and professional training).
In an early 2018 note, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, said the training should be considered ” a constant, natural and simple act across life – with lightweight, flexible courses, skills and programs available to everyone “.
Artificial intelligence will further enrich this scenario, integrating and improving the teaching and learning processes, selecting and proposing the most relevant content for the training needs of the moment.
In the modern context, everything is personalized or customizable.
And studying is no exception: have you ever heard of adaptive learning? It is a didactic model focused on the recognition of the peculiarities and inclinations of the individual, to enhance the educational path. Instead of repeating the same lesson over and over again, teachers will be able to customize it according to a student’s levels of preparation and interests, and they will do so thanks to the analysis of the data collected and the suggestions provided by artificial intelligence.
Something similar already exists, and it is not a real professor: it is FLEXA, the Personalized Continuos Learning platform developed by MIP, the international Business School of the Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with Microsoft, and based on the Cloud services of Azure.
Designed as a digital tutor, FLEXA aims to offer students and professionals valuable support in building a tailor-made training path, defining a personalized study plan and achieving the most useful skills for their profile and respect to the needs of a constantly evolving labor market.
A versatile tool, also useful for recruiters. Thanks to machine learning, i.e. those automatic learning techniques thanks to which a machine learns directly from the analysis of the collected data, FLEXA allows you to select candidates for a job position very accurately, facilitating resource profiling.
Classrooms without walls
Laptops, first, and smartphones, then, freed us from the constraints of place that in the past forced us to lean over books in defined spaces, such as classrooms or libraries. Today, thanks to the cloud (which guarantees ubiquitous access to data) and WiFi connectivity, a café, a train carriage or a park bench can be transformed into temporary stations of study.
Artificial intelligence, however, does not deny the importance of physical and traditional places, but transforms them: the most enlightened universities have already created “smart” architecture projects, in which the AI has inspired shared and interactive spaces, populated with large screens, projectors and digital whiteboards. An avant-garde scenario created to favor the flow of knowledge, without barriers of time and space, bringing together – virtually – the students present in the classroom and those connected remotely.
A new decentralized model
After overwhelming the economic universe and revolutionizing the world of payments, blockchain technology could also make its way into the university world.
How? The “chain of blocks” system will be used to validate and secure university credit transfer applications, according to a scheme that is no longer centralized but distributed.
And that’s not all: universities will also be able to use the blockchain to register intellectual property rights on publications and research.
A university course takes time, sacrifices and dedication, but technology can make it more fruitful, focused and enjoyable. We can bet: artificial intelligence will be an excellent fellow student.