Neural Educational Recommendation Engine (NERE)

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Quizlet is the most popular online learning tool in the United States, and is used by over 2/3 of high school students, and 1/2 of college students. With more than 95% of Quizlet users reporting improved grades as a result, the platform has become the de-facto tool used in millions of classrooms. In this paper, we explore the task of recommending suitable content for a student to study, given their prior interests, as well as what their peers are studying. We propose a novel approach, i.e. Neural Educational Recommendation Engine (NERE), to recommend educational content by leveraging student behaviors rather than ratings. We have found that this approach better captures social factors that are more aligned with learning. NERE is based on a recurrent neural network that includes collaborative and content-based approaches for recommendation, and takes into account any particular student's speed, mastery, and experience to recommend the appropriate task. We train NERE by jointly learning the user embeddings and content embeddings, and attempt to predict the content embedding for the final timestamp. We also develop a confidence estimator for our neural network, which is a crucial requirement for productionizing this model. We apply NERE to Quizlet's proprietary dataset, and present our results. We achieved an R^2 score of 0.81 in the content embedding space, and a recall score of 54% on our 100 nearest neighbors. This vastly exceeds the recall@100 score of 12% that a standard matrix-factorization approach provides. We conclude with a discussion on how NERE will be deployed, and position our work as one of the first educational recommender systems for the K-12 space.


The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science

#artificialintelligence

In 2012, IBM Watson went to medical school. So said The New York Times, announcing that the tech giant's artificially intelligent question-and-answer machine had begun a "stint as a medical student" at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. This was just a metaphor. Clinicians were helping IBM train Watson for use in medical research. But as metaphors go, it wasn't a very good one.


AI Nanodegree Program Syllabus: Term 2 (Deep Learning), In Depth

#artificialintelligence

Here at Udacity, we are tremendously excited to announce the kick-off of the second term of our Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program. Because we are able to provide a depth of education that is commensurate with university education; because we are bridging the gap between universities and industry by providing you with hands-on projects and partnering with the top industries in the field; and last but certainly not least, because we are able to bring this education to many more people across the globe, at a cost that makes a top-notch AI education realistic for all aspiring learners. During the first term, you've enjoyed learning about Game Playing Agents, Simulated Annealing, Constraint Satisfaction, Logic and Planning, and Probabilistic AI from some of the biggest names in the field: Sebastian Thrun, Peter Norvig, and Thad Starner. Term 2 will be focused on one of the cutting-edge advancements of AI -- Deep Learning. In this Term, you will learn about the foundations of neural networks, understand how to train these neural networks with techniques such as gradient descent and backpropagation, and learn different types of architectures that make neural networks work for a variety of different applications.


In the Age of Google DeepMind, Do the Young Go Prodigies of Asia Have a Future? - The New Yorker

#artificialintelligence

Choong-am Dojang is far from a typical Korean school. Its best pupils will never study history or math, nor will they receive traditional high-school diplomas. The academy, which operates above a bowling alley on a narrow street in northwestern Seoul, teaches only one subject: the game of Go, known in Korean as baduk and in Chinese as wei qi. Each day, Choong-am's students arrive at nine in the morning, find places at desks in a fluorescent-lit room, and play, study, memorize, and review games--with breaks for cafeteria meals or an occasional soccer match--until nine at night. Choong-am, which is the product of a merger between four top Go academies, is currently the biggest of a handful of dojangs in South Korea.


Reliable Deep Grade Prediction with Uncertainty Estimation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Currently, college-going students are taking longer to graduate than their parental generations. Further, in the United States, the six-year graduation rate has been 59% for decades. Improving the educational quality by training better-prepared students who can successfully graduate in a timely manner is critical. Accurately predicting students' grades in future courses has attracted much attention as it can help identify at-risk students early so that personalized feedback can be provided to them on time by advisors. Prior research on students' grade prediction include shallow linear models; however, students' learning is a highly complex process that involves the accumulation of knowledge across a sequence of courses that can not be sufficiently modeled by these linear models. In addition to that, prior approaches focus on prediction accuracy without considering prediction uncertainty, which is essential for advising and decision making. In this work, we present two types of Bayesian deep learning models for grade prediction. The MLP ignores the temporal dynamics of students' knowledge evolution. Hence, we propose RNN for students' performance prediction. To evaluate the performance of the proposed models, we performed extensive experiments on data collected from a large public university. The experimental results show that the proposed models achieve better performance than prior state-of-the-art approaches. Besides more accurate results, Bayesian deep learning models estimate uncertainty associated with the predictions. We explore how uncertainty estimation can be applied towards developing a reliable educational early warning system. In addition to uncertainty, we also develop an approach to explain the prediction results, which is useful for advisors to provide personalized feedback to students.