Artificial Intelligence in Education is Here to Stay: Will it Augment or Replace?

Zoe Mackay | IBL News

Are significant advancements in AI (Artificial Intelligence) going to eventually lead to the replacement of traditional teaching roles?

Attendees at an IMS Global Learning Consortium panel, last month in San Diego, were asked to contemplate this question. The panel, entitled “Is Artificial Intelligence the Future of Education?” featured the outstanding speakers Tom Gierke, Ari Chanen, Eric Cosyn, Yakut Gazi, and Alex Kaplan with Ray Schroeder moderating.

It’s no secret that AI is nested within the wave of innovation in online learning. As Kaplan mentioned, “AI is already playing a really active role in education today, and that this is really more about maturing of the offerings as opposed to is it happening or not?”

Along with the other panelists, Kaplan agreed: “AI is about augmenting and enhancing human capability, and not replacing human capability.”

As AI gets integrated in education, the impact it is going to have is to expand the range of teaching modalities available to instructors and institutions,” said Cosyn. “The classic model, where the instructor addresses the whole class, that’s not going to go away, but the AI will function as a side teaching assistant.”

AI will allow information to surface regarding what material students need help with, Cosyn poses, and will play an important role within traditional models and new models of online teaching.

Gazi’s team has experience working with AI in online courses, first introduced three years prior as an AI teaching assistant which “farmed the previous discussion boards and used that as resources to answer student questions.”

While AI is instrumental in moving forward with online education, Gierke questioned the validity of commentators who think AI will replace traditional teaching techniques. “As much as AI is advancing, is it going to replace a teacher? I think we have to remember that the research shows that teachers are one of the most important factors in student outcomes… Advances in AI, can help [teachers] save time.”

To watch the full panel discussion, please click on the video below.