Mom! My Teacher’s a Robot
Is Artificial Intelligence changing the education industry for the better, or is it sending the system down a downward spiral?
by Lakshana Lakshmanarajan
The world is constantly changing, and with technology taking over every industry, it is no surprise that education was no exception. While it makes the jobs of teachers easier and enables students with easier access to solutions, it may also be replacing teachers entirely, and harming students in the process.
Artificial Intelligence is becoming a huge part of industries in today’s society, education being one of them. AI uses personal learning and task automation, both playing large parts in revolutionizing the industry by changing the way people are taught and learn. Task automation helps teachers with the parts that don’t involve teaching, for example, creating personalized exams, and automatic grading and results. Through personalized learning, AI technology ensures that content is easily comprehensible for every student, regardless of learning pace. Although the present technology may not allow AI to be equivalent to human teachers as they can communicate and better understand the students' needs, it is one of the many ways in which AI technology is developing.
This is where the trilemma is presented, is Artificial Intelligence changing the education industry for the better, or is it sending the system down a downward spiral? Or are there no issues with the way AI technology is impacting education as of now?
AI Technology is Beneficial:
AI has changed the education industry entirely since it was first introduced in 1956. It has helped in so many aspects of education; assisting teachers in administrative work and enabling students to instant answers are some of the most significant ways in which it has been beneficial. It has made evaluating and grading things, that usually take hours, to be done instantly.
Online testing has also become the most common way to take tests recently and AI has presented the education system with the most secure way to do this. Schools have used AI facial recognition technology to ensure students’ attention during lectures. Additionally, AI has also enabled students to have access to instant solutions and answers to their problems when they are unable to communicate with their teachers. Furthermore, AI-powered education apps like Duolingo, Brainly, MATHiaU, and Thinkster Math are becoming increasingly popular, providing students with the option to learn independently instead of having to depend entirely on teachers.
AI Technology is Harmful:
Artificial technology has made learning and teaching a much easier feat, especially during the pandemic when having in-person classes was out of the question. However, there are also many cons that should be considered. Consistent use of technology has been shown to produce a large amount of stress in students’ brains, leading to decreased overall health. Additionally, with the increase in social media usage in younger generations, introducing technology in classrooms could have an additive effect. An increase in technology could cause an increase in unhealthy technology reliance, making AI usage in classrooms an unhealthy way of learning.
Furthermore, AI technology has no human capacity, which means that it won’t be as adept at adapting to a multitude of varying student’s needs
The world is changing faster than we can imagine, and as AI technology usage in the education industry continues to increase, there is an increasing possibility that it will completely take over the job of teachers. The cost of AI technology is also something that should be considered. Because it depends on power, schools that have a higher usage of it have much higher electricity bills. When there are humans that could get the job done in a more progressive manner, it seems unnecessary to spend so much more of the funds on replacing them, when they could go to things such as field trips and other events to aid the students’ learning experience. Additionally, incorporating AI technology creates the possibility of important student information being lost due to issues such as malware or viruses, information which might not be retrievable.
Neutral: AI has No Effect:
There are many that are on the fence about implementing AI technology into the education industry, and they may be right to do so. AI can be harmful when it is increasing unhealthy reliance on technology, which is currently not the case. Although there are benefits as well as harmful factors to AI usage, for some the benefits may overweigh the harmfulness, while for others, it may be the opposite.
However, as AI is constantly being developed, it will become increasingly adept at providing students a rich learning experience. And when used in the right manner and to a certain extent, education systems will be able to securely implement the technology.
But if schools don’t adapt to this increasing reliance on technology, making it secure and safe for all students, it may become a problem.