What is Artificial Intelligence?
In 1956, John McCarthy officially coined the term Artificial Intelligence (AI), which was defined as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines." After a brief lull, termed as 'AI Winter,' when all progress relating to its development had virtually stalled due to technological limitations and shortage of funds, AI started its second innings in the 2000s. Since 2010, AI is progressing well thanks to improvement in computing powers, data volume, and advanced algorithms.
When people talk about AI, they often consider its negative aspects and its ability to destroy the world, as shown in big-budgeted Hollywood movies. However, all of these talks are misleading, which often frightens us about an unlikely future. On the other hand, AI is seen to fundamentally change the labor market through intelligent automation of many routine tasks that humans usually perform.
The goals of artificial intelligence include learning, reasoning, and perception. An AI-based machine is programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions with the help of learning and problem-solving on their own. The basic expectation from an AI-based software is that it should make humans' work easier by using its ability to rationalize and take actions that have the best chance of achieving a specific goal.
However, the applications for artificial intelligence are endless; I have provided some of the applications below. The technology is being applied to many different sectors and industries. AI is being tested and used in the healthcare industry for dosing drugs and various treatment methods in the patients and for surgical procedures in the operating room. Other examples of machines with artificial intelligence include computers that play chess and self-driving cars. However, as technology advances, previous benchmarks that defined artificial intelligence become outdated. For example, machines that calculate basic functions or recognize text through optical character recognition are no longer considered to embody artificial intelligence, as the task is now taken for granted as an essential computer function.
In the following articles, I emphasize the need to introduce AI in India as soon as possible. I have also provided articles on current as well as potential applications of AI in the future.
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Educating Education With AI
Apple's vice president of education, John Couch, rightly praised China for making efforts on implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in classrooms as it has the potential to reform the whole education sector. India, on the other hand, has a large youth population, so it desperately needs a well-developed education sector to propel the country towards a bright future. Unfortunately, the education sector of India is atrocious. To ameliorate its education sector, India needs to muck in with AI as it is the need of the hour in the classrooms.Why Should AI Be Imposed In Classrooms?
If we look at the 2017 report, it prominently stated the average student-teacher ratio of elementary schools, i.e., 24:1 and secondary schools, i.e., 27:1. However, the averages hide the reality, if we look at the student-teacher ratio, state-wise, we can see that Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, being one of India's most populous states, have a student-teacher ratio of 57:1 and 45:1. The alluring average ratio is maintained by scantily populated states and Union territories like Andaman & Nicobar, Sikkim, Lakshwadeep et al. with only 11, 12, and 14 students per teacher respectively. Although it is clear that there are adequate teachers, the only problem that lies is their uniform deployment. We cannot recruit many teachers out of the blue; however, we can succor the existing ones using AI.How Can AI Aid the Education Sector?
Many Indian startups use AI, and out of that, 11 % are in the education sector. While this is an excellent indication that education is getting systematized using AI, no prominence is given to improve the standards of schooling in India using AI. Introducing AI will not replace teachers but will deliver much more by endeavoring personalized recommendations to the individual student.
AI will allow a level of differentiation that's impossible for teachers who have to manage 35 students in each class like assisting students with visual and hearing imparities. It will automate the educators' tasks by customizing homework, assignments, and final exams, ensuring that students get the best desirable assistance. Chatbots supported by regional language will also enable the students to confide well and clear their doubts more confidently. The attendance system of both private and public schools can be automated by using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) systems.How Should AI Be Implemented In Classrooms?
Just like China, India, too, should have an artificial intelligence development plan. India should promote AI in every possible industry and introduce several technological innovations in their schools as it can redefine how the students study. A long term plan is required to have a new generation of intelligently educated youth.
Private companies should be incentivized to spearhead the widespread implementation of this technology in both public and private schools. The government can make up for investments in the R&D of these technologies by using large scale advertisements. AI should be implemented in the education sector at the earliest as delaying it would stagnate India's youth growth. In the end, all I can say is that the time has come, and the time is now.