Challenges In Adopting AI, ML In Indian Education Framework

If we take a sneak peek the progress that’s happening in other countries, then we will have every reason to believe that Indian educational institutions, government and business have to do more.

Many researchers and business experts have been vouching for Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) ability to change the way the processes operate in almost every sector. In the next five years, the impact of AI in education will be profound and intense. AI will be playing a vital role in revolutionizing the global education sector.

Several governments across countries spread around the globe are significantly increasing allocation of resources for developing talent in AI. This is being done by investment in universities and also by creating the right ecosystems for thriving core and applied AI. If we take a sneak peek the progress that’s happening in other countries, then we will have every reason to believe that Indian educational institutions, government and business have to do more.

Some case examples that I share can make this clear.  For example, Chinese universities have established extensive research partnerships with Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent to ensure cutting edge research and knowledge is created in the area of AI. Baidu - a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services, products has a multimillion-dollar partnership with the Peking University to further research in AI-related area.

Alibaba Cloud, also known as Aliyun, which is a Chinese cloud computing company and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group is working with the National Engineering laboratory of Tsinghua University in China on big data systems and software for AI. Academia in Japan are rapidly reorienting themselves to theoretical and applied research AI space. Riken Centre for Advanced Intelligence Project and Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are the nodal research institutes for AI and are carrying extensive research with industry collaboration and are creating solutions which are hardware centric with robotics and AI as one of the major focus areas of development.  Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) and Stanford are the top three universities in mean count of research papers published across AI, systems, theory and interdisciplinary areas. Indian Universities and researchers are still lacking behind in contributing to this emerging body of knowledge.

India has been a major player in software services. The position that India holds in software services today was due to the efforts of government, private business players and educational institutions -which created the apt ecosystem which made it possible for India to be the sought after destination for software services. If appropriate actions are taken and if strategic decisions are taken with the correct motive and direction, then the same can be replicated in the AI domain.  

A lot has to be done by Indian educational institutions, government and business. The government has a major role to play in providing the required impetus. The government must identify academic institutions, provide fiscal support to establish the centres of excellence focusing on core technology research in AI. Special AI Fellowships have to be institutionalised to retain outgoing PhD students and also attract researchers from foreign universities with attractive incentives and challenging projects. It must also be ensured that incentivise are given to research collaboration between premier academic institutions through special grants facilitating the formation of a global expert pool for core research in Artificial Intelligence.

The government must also incentivise universities to adopt credit-bearing MOOCs in their curriculum which are related to AI. Educational institutions must provide faculty fellowship or Distinguished chairs professor position to promote research in AI. Engineering institutions and B Schools must invite expression of interest from industry players to lead ICTAIs (International Centres for Transformational in AI) in various sectors including health, education, agriculture, smart mobility etc. Business must go an extra mile to collaborate and create incubation facilities in the area of AI which can support the starts up in the AI domain.

AI can bring immense benefit to educators. The use of AI in the education sector, can not only help in easing the administrative burden but also can help transform the realm of teaching.

Many time teachers are unsure of the methods of teaching that will resonate with the majority of the students. AI can make these decisions with fewer errors than human beings. While there are obviously things that human tutors can offer that machines can’t, at least not yet, the future could see more students being tutored by tutors that only exist in zeros and ones. One can’t rule out the possibility of AI tutors being effective teachers in the future. As on date, it’s a big challenge to objectively conclude on how well a student understands a subject. Learning skill-sets requires students to grasp multiple aspects. Hence, a fair assessment should evaluate a student on both their strengths and areas that need improvement. The assessment models that are presently used on an overall deftness, which isn’t of much use, since assessments should be used to diagnose, not evaluate. AI’s power can create fairer, unbiased ways to assess candidates by taking into account all the limitations of fixed-format exams, such as varying weightage and the curriculum’s difficulty level.

While there are several challenges to bring about the changes, the strategic policy framework by the government, with the support of private players and educational institutions can ensure that India can ride the wave in using AI to revolutionize the education sector.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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