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A Professor Built an AI Teaching Assistant for His Courses--and It Could Shape the Future of Education

Jill Watson is an artificially intelligent teaching assistant.

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ashok Goel's artificially intelligent teaching assistant resides in an online question-and-answer platform.

Credit: Giacomo Gambineri

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ashok Goel has created an artificially intelligent teaching assistant (TA) called "Jill Watson" that resides in an online question-and-answer platform. Jill answers routine questions with firm, objective solutions.

Goel used IBM's Bluemix platform, for developing applications using Watson and other IBM software, as Jill's base technology, and then trained her on four semesters' worth of data.

Jill's initial iteration was so error-prone that Goel's team built a mirror version of the Q&A forum so it could observe Jill's responses and highlight her errors to help the TA learn.

Equipping Jill with a memory of previous questions and answers, as well as the context of her interactions with students, enabled the TA to answer questions with 97% accuracy.

Goel envisions Jill and similar artificial intelligences reshaping education, particularly when it comes to "reaching those segments of the population that don't have human teachers."

From Business Insider
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