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China's Efforts to Lead the Way in AI Start in Its Classrooms

Chinese school student wearing BrainCo headband

Headbands developed by BrainCo measure electric signals from neurons in the brain and translate that into an attention score using an algorithm.

These days, many students at Jinhua Xiaoshun Primary School in eastern China begin their lessons not by opening textbooks, but by putting on headbands.

The headbands, developed by startup BrainCo Inc. of Somerville, Mass., use three electrodes — one on the forehead and two behind the ears — to detect electrical activity in the brain, sending the data to a teacher's computer. Software generates real-time alerts about students' attention levels and gives an analysis at the end of each class.

The pilot project, designed to help teachers keep tabs on and improve students' attentiveness, offers a glimpse into an artificial-intelligence boom in classrooms across China. Teachers say they have seen positive results from the use of AI in their classrooms.

"Teachers have an intuition about who's engaged and who's not," says Max Newlon, president of BrainCo's U.S. office. "What we are aiming to do is take this feeling and make it a measurable metric."

From The Wall Street Journal
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