Published On: May 13, 2020 06:56 PM NPT By: Sameer Maskey
Though I have held many positions in the past decade, I have always considered myself an educator at the core. Before COVID-19, I pursued the mission of accessible education, predominantly around artificial intelligence (AI). I spent more than 15 years in the academic world as a researcher, then as a professor before founding Fusemachines which allowed me to witness the impact that communities of knowledge can have on individuals around the world. Even though education systems vary from country to country, I believe change will soon be present within them all. In the wake of the pandemic that has fragmented many education institutions, we are left to wonder what the future of learning will look like. The foundations we have created and relied on will need to be redesigned and barriers will need to become more permeable than ever. Can the current digital infrastructure host and implement the values we once upheld? How will we create a flourishing learning environment with an online solution? The search for answers has led us to build a platform that not only stands as a digital online learning infrastructure, but also as a system that attempts to truly transform the digital school experience with AI. We have called this Fuse Classroom, AI-enabled education platform Many online learning platforms fall short of the “in-classroom” experience as they haven’t been able to replicate the human components that make a physical classroom enjoyable, like hearing a great lecture from an engaged professor who students feel connected to. While we may never be able to recreate that experience online, we can use certain classroom elements as an inspiration and foundation. We want this platform to be more than just a hub for video lectures and pre-created content. These are some of the concepts we bring to life in Fuse Classroom.
I believe a positive school environment is composed of more than a classroom setting — it’s the interactions with your friends, exposure to clubs, activities, and different groups of people. It’s a space for students to discover multiple facets of their identities. Our team has tried to address the missing human component of online learning by making the platform a collaborative space to encourage students and instructors to communicate and learn together with in-built AI features.
Up to this point, no platform has been able to combine these elements into a holistic and effective digital experience. Rather, they remain independent tools on the web with outdated and clunky user interfaces. Fuse Classroom provides a modern, student-centric experience through an easy to use mobile app. We want all students to be able to access and interact with the best digital versions of their college experiences.
In the era of AI, we can use the power of machines to improve many aspects of education. AI systems can track a student’s performance, enabling a teacher to intervene should they start to fall behind. These systems provide a view into individual learning styles that equip teachers with personalized feedback for each student. Machines can also function as teaching assistants by answering questions in forums, the way teachers would in a classroom. AI chat can also help keep students engaged, alongside shorter learning modules. We have a real opportunity to harness AI to elevate the digital learning experience for students and instructors alike.
Education is paramount, and everyone deserves the opportunity to receive it at its best. Unfortunately, it is often non-standard and inadequately taught, especially in developing countries. Having grown up in Nepal, I experienced this for myself. There are areas in the United States where systems are just as limited too. Digitization is one way to improve education in under-resourced schools, and adoption of online learning will become an integral part of doing so. These technological developments can help fill the gaps in personalized learning and online education, and leaders everywhere are starting to recognize the importance of leveraging them. We created Fuse Classroom as a way to bring a seamless digital learning experience to students that allows them to connect with everyone in their school community.
I believe a system like Fuse Classroom will influence education institutions as they reconfigure and assimilate to online learning during COVID-19 and beyond. While there are still many unknowns, AI can revolutionize the education system as it evolves over time. Our research will continue as we strive to make Fuse Classroom a helpful tool for people all over the world. If you are in the education space,
we welcome you to share your experiences with us throughout this journey.
Maskey is the CEO and founder of Fusemachines Inc. He also teaches AI at Columbia University, New York. Twitter: @sameermaskey
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