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China's Schools Are Quietly ­sing AI to Mark Students' Essays ... but Do the Robots Make the Grade?

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A robot, teaching.

Some schools in China are testing the ability of artificial intelligence to grade students' essays.

Credit: iStock

A quarter of schools in China are testing a device that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to grade students' essays, according to the program's scientists.

The project, led by Zhou Jianshe of Capital Normal University in Beijing, aims to understand the general logic and meaning of the text in an essay and make a human-like judgment about its quality.

The device's AI software grades the work and suggests improvements in areas such as writing style, structure, and theme.

Embedded in a cluster of high-speed computers in Beijing, the tool is improving its ability to understand human language by using deep learning algorithms to analyze essays written by Chinese students and comparing results with human teachers' grading and comments.

According to a government document, in tests involving 60,000 schools and more than 120 million people, the essay-grading device and human grader gave the same score 92% of the time.

From South China Morning Post
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