Parents and teachers have known for centuries that the best
education is delivered one-on-one by an experienced educator. But that is
expensive, labor intensive and cannot scale.
Algorithms can uncover patterns about how students perform
and algorithms can help teachers optimize their strategies accordingly. “AI
tutors,” software systems that students interact with online, can give every
student greater access to the individualized attention they need.
But research in the field has been slow, as students and
their professors focus on other aspects of artificial intelligence. The
inaugural Riiid AIEd Challenge, announced this month, hopes to change that by inviting leading global AI talent to compete on Google’s Kaggle competition platform to create deep learning algorithms for education.
The goal is to create algorithms that can track the knowledge states of more than a million students in the wild. Already, the challenge has been joined by nearly 1,200 competitors, more than 10 percent of which are
Knowledge tracing can model student comprehension as they interact
with coursework and is used to predict how the student will perform on future interactions so that a study plan can be adapted to the student’s individual needs.
The winning teams in the annual competition will share $100,000 in prize money and the winning model will be presented at a workshop at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference in February next year.
The competition is based on the world’s largest dataset of student-AI interactions, called EdNet, created by a Korean-based AI education company, Riiid. To leverage the power of that dataset and advance AI for
education, the company has joined with universities and other educational
organizations including the non-profit DXtera Institute, to launch the AIEd
Such challenges have been used in the past to focus the world’s best academic minds on difficult problems, and are responsible for some
of the most significant advances in artificial intelligence. The ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge led to breakthroughs in computer vision, for example, and the US DARPA Grand Challenge kicked off the development of self-driving cars.
“As an adviser to this important event, I look forward to reviewing AI-backed solutions that can give educators insightful directions to best coach young minds,” said Paul Kim, Associate Dean and Chief Technology Officer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education.
AI and the Internet hold the promise of democratizing quality education. By focusing the best AI minds in the world on the improvement of AI-enabled education, researchers and teachers together can design a new paradigm for education in the post-COVID era.
Craig S. Smith is a former New York Times correspondent and host of the podcast, Eye on AI. Anyone interested in participating in the Riiid
AIEd Challenge should visit https://www.ednetchallenge.ai for more details.