Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are ever-evolving across all industries, and the education sector is no different. Although the presence of teachers is believed to be irreplaceable, AI is starting to change education tools, with institutions adapting specialized technology.

By 2027, the market for artificial intelligence in education is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 40%, and rise to US$10.38 billion by 2026, making AI an important disruptor in the sector.

In this article, we’ll go over a few real-life use cases of AI in education, including:

  • Engagement tools for student enrollment
  • Smart tutoring systems and personalized learning
  • Better special education
  • Promoting learning on a global scale
  • Helping in exam proctoring

1. Engagement tools for student enrollment

A report by McKinsey and Company highlighted that more than 85% of college presidents cite enrollment numbers as a central issue. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector can’t be denied; almost 50% of students said that the emotional impact kept them from enrolling, and 30% said they couldn’t afford to.

AI tools aim to streamline the enrollment process, increasing numbers and minimizing expenses for the colleges. Georgia State University’s AI-driven chatbot sends students personalized reminders, walks them through admissions processes, and more.

The result? The university saw a reduced summer melt by 19% in the first year of implementation, leading to an increase in students that completed pre-enrollment processes. AIchatbots give students the support they need 24/7, being programmed to answer common questions. They can also learn and add new data to their database as humans answer new questions by analyzing each interaction and collecting them.

What is summer melt?
It’s the phenomenon of students who apply and get accepted into a college but fail to enroll.

2. Smart tutoring systems and personalized learning

Have you ever heard of the Khan Academy?

There’s a good chance that you have – it’s a huge resource for both students and teachers, and it’s completely free.

This personalized electronic tutoring system leans on adaptive learning. AI is helping smart tutoring systems by using cognitive science and AI technologies, meaning they offer personalized service and real-time feedback for learners, like Carnegie Learning.

Mastery Learning integrates the curriculum around the students’ progress, helping to support the effectiveness of individualized tutoring and classroom instruction. It also combines immediate opportunities for corrected practice, timely target feedback, and enrichment activities.

These smart tutoring systems respond to every student’s individual needs, helping them to work at their own pace and focus on the subjects they struggle with the most. This personalized learning through AI-powered apps lets teachers tailor lessons to individual learning styles and speeds, so every student gets the best possible assistance.

3. Allowing better special education

Autism has a wide spectrum, and there’s increased pressure for schools to have a facilitator that overcomes barriers and offers special education students the individual attention they need. The quick transition to a digital medium during the COVID-19 lockdown affected the mental health of students worldwide, with these issues being understandably amplified for students on the spectrum.

This is where AI and machine learning can make a big difference, by offering extremely customized learning that considers every student’s learning ability and speed. As AI also learns from responses to work, it can continuously improve itself.

Schools can leverage AI tools to offer extra support to students who need it, making learning a smoother experience for both teachers and students. Institutions can make data-driven decisions and see results in both online and physical classrooms.

The award-winning application Otsimo has several success stories in this field, using AI for its speech therapy application. This aligns filters after children complete exercises, with the filters being part of a reward mechanism. Machine learning helps with voice recognition so the app can understand what the children say and fill their progress bar.

4. Promoting learning on a global scale

AI is helping to make big strides in the availability of classrooms to all students, especially those who speak different languages or have either hearing or visual impairments. Presentation Translator, a free plug-in for PowerPoint, creates subtitles in real-time as the teachers speak.

Azure Cognitive Services are empowering translation and speech recognition tools, helping students to read or hear in their native language so that they can learn wherever they are in the world. This opens the door for those who want to study particular subjects that aren’t available in their own countries, while still allowing them to understand the information.

5. Helping in exam proctoring

Cheating and suspicious behavior during exams can often be a big issue in educational institutions. AI software can help address this problem, especially when students are online and in remote learning and proctors can’t control them in person.

The software can keep track of students’ microphones, web browsers, and web cameras, and conduct a keystroke analysis. Facial recognition systems can even detect when students aren’t staying in their place or if they’re looking for information in their workbooks while in the exam.

A hybrid of this approach can also improve the assessment process and deter cheating, with both AI tools and remote human proctors. The proctors receive data in real-time from the tools, being able to see suspicious behavior and immediately correct it.

A tool like AI Proctor offers a range of benefits for institutions, as it:

  • Only needs a camera for zoom and no additional, special hardware.
  • Automatically closes the browser after an exam, sending detailed cheating videos to instructors.
  • Adds reminders to students five minutes and one minute before the exam ends.
  • Offers a browser add-on that monitors activity.
  • And more.