The Filipino Department of Education started offering the Japanese language and culture program to high school students in 2009, together with Spanish and French, to prepare young Filipinos for both local and international opportunities that would require communicative competence in a second foreign language, after English. When the education department decided to introduce the Japanese program, it partnered with Japan Foundation Manila to train Filipino teachers, a task that proved challenging. Franza and Chee of Makati Science High School won third place, representing their school as a pair, during a Japanese quiz bee earlier this year. Agreeing that the program helps foster better relations between the Philippines and Japan, Education Secretary Briones said, "Young people connect to young people, everywhere.
Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka sums up AI as "any activity that used to only be done via human intelligence that now can be executed by a computer," including speech recognition, machine learning and natural language processing. The opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes called artificial general intelligence (AGI), refers to a "future AI system that exhibits apparently intelligent behavior at least as advanced as a person across the full range of cognitive tasks." In the meantime, the panel recommended the federal government explore ways for agencies to apply AI to their missions by creating organizations to support high-risk, high-reward AI research. Models for such an organization include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and what the Department of Education Department has done with its proposal to create an "ARPA-ED," which was designed to support research on whether AI could help significantly improve student learning.
The company is making Cloud, Big Data, Machine Learning, and Analytics accessible to the government agencies. One of the first initiatives of its partnership with Microsoft resulted in an application that helps the state education department in predicting the school dropouts. Based on Azure Machine Learning, this tool processes complex data consisting of student performance, school infrastructure, and teacher skills to find meaningful patterns. This is enabling the state education department to intervene at the right time to reduce the number of dropouts.
If a change is needed, it is of a different kind. The process through which students may petition for loan forgiveness may need to be streamlined and made clearer. If it acts at all, the Department of Education should redefine the current process and better communicate its availability to students. The new initiative, even if that is not its intention, has the potential to go too far because those who feed off society's productive activities – because that's where the money is – will take it there.