It’s not every day that we get to look into the future of learning. But with recent artificial intelligence development in China’s classrooms, we’re taking a sneak peek of what it will look like. China is already positioning itself as the powerhouse for artificial intelligence (AI) innovation in general, but the country’s use of the technology in the classroom is trail-blazing.
Commentary One winter morning, a 5th grader will be awakened earlier than usual by Maestra, a commercially available virtual mentor that curates her comprehensive educational environment. Having monitored the child’s cognitive and emotional development since shortly after her conception, the artificial-intelligence program will accurately anticipate that the morning’s snowfall will add 10 minutes to the child’s typical walk to school.
Eighteen students file into a brightly lit classroom. Arrayed around its perimeter are 18 computers. The students take their seats, log in to their machines, and silently begin working. At a desk in the back, the instructor’s screen displays a series of spreadsheets and data visualizations to help her track each student’s progress in real time.
Artificial intelligence is changing work, and it has implications for education as well. About a decade ago, if you attended any education keynote, you would often find the speaker reassuring people who technology will not replace teachers. However, teachers with technology will replace teachers without, they would reassure us.