With all the talk about AI in this class over the course of the semester, it would seem like we would eventually run out of topics to blog about. Boy was I wrong. After reading an article about how companies are looking to use AI to improve the education system, I started to search on the internet to see if AI had already been implemented into some school systems. I was correct.
Meet ZenoBot. One their website, www.zenobot.com, ZenoBot is described as a quick an effective way to create and present content. Perfect for today’s increasingly busy individuals. In the education realm, it serves as a teaching assistant for professors and teachers. The program uses digital avatar technology to create a virtual teaching assistant. The avatar can be personalized by the teacher or the class with different features such as, voice, age, facial expressions, and gestures.
Now a lot of people may be thinking, we’ll here goes AI, taking more jobs away from humans again. They are wrong. The physical teacher will still be giving the lectures in class, with the ZenoBot acting as a partner to the teacher. The Bot will be used as a support teacher, helping the main teacher deliver content and lecture information, allowing the main teacher to focus more time on the one on one interactions with the individual students. The ZenoBot gives the teacher more freedom to go around the classroom and meet the needs of the students, instead of just sitting up front and lecturing the whole time in order to get all of the material in before the bell rings.
For example, if there is a class where there are a handful of individuals who have a better understanding of the concept than the rest of the class, the teacher can divide the class up into two groups. The large group will stay with the actual teacher, while the handful of students with more knowledge on the subject can go with the ZenoBot. The teacher can give the students a problem set that is more challenging, and the ZenoBot can help direct them and aid them when needed, while the larger group is able to learn the subject from the teacher directly. I think that this is a pretty good idea because there are always the select few students who go into the class with a higher understanding of a certain subject or topic. If they have to sit through a whole class of repetitive questions from students who do not seem to grasp the material, than these select students will become annoyed and ultimately stop paying attention, or even worse start causing trouble in class. With the ZenoBot, these students are given the opportunity to challenge themselves to a degree that would not be attainable with only one teacher present.
This is a link to a video that explains how the ZenoBot Virtual Teacher’s Assistant works.
Stepping away from the educational realm and looking more at ZenoBot as a whole, it can be tailored to take on many different tasks in numerous fields. From their website, they explain why the ZenoBot has an advantage over traditional desktop apps with conversation AI, stating that:
“Unlike traditional mobile or desktop apps, with conversation based AI, users interact with apps through a conversation, natural-sounding back and forth exchanges, and not traditional, computer-centric paradigms. All you need to do is talk to the AI. It’s hands free! It accepts numerous languages and accents.”
It seems as though ZenoBot has limitless applications. Here are some examples of how ZenoBot can be used:
Retail Industry – ZenoBot can be used in shops and stores to display the newest items, along with greeting customers in the entrance and placing aiding customers in locating different products.
Airlines – ZenoBot can be used to welcome the guests, help them with check-in information, and help with the safety instructions in multiple different languages.
Hospitals – ZenoBot can be used in hospitals to provide information to visitors regarding hygiene, visiting hours, and rules.
Professionals – professionals can use ZenoBot to help them share and present information in a professional way to an audience in their local language. Especially helpful when the target audience does not speak the same language as the presenter
I think that the marginal benefits drastically outweigh the marginal costs when it comes to the ZenoBot. Here are some of the main benefits of ZenoBot:
Cost Effectiveness – You are only required to pay for what you need. For example, you do not need to pay for the whole language recognition software if you need to use only one language.
Ease of Use – the software is very quick and there is no real lag time. There is also no lengthy complicated training course that needs to be completed.
Customizable – Each ZenoBot is different depending on the owner’s preference. The owner has the ability to program and utilize it however he or she wants, making it easy to manage.
In sum, I think that the ZenoBot is a type of AI that has great potential to do a lot of good in the world. In education, it will benefit both the teachers and the students, creating a more interesting and individual learning experience for each student, especially in grade school (K-8). Do you think that incorporating the ZenoBot into the education system will be beneficial, or do you think that it is not a good idea? What red flags do you think could potentially arise here?
See you guys in a few!
Riddle of the Week:
First I threw away the outside and cooked the inside, then I ate the outside and threw away the inside, what did I eat?