AI in education is more than science fiction. One study found that 34 hours on Duolingo's app are equivalent to a full university semester of language education. But educational AI and the broader category of educational technology (EdTech) go well beyond language learning. Companies like Carnegie Learning and Fuel Education apply artificial intelligence to K-12 learning. One of the most popular EdTech platforms, McGraw Hill's ALEKS, is a web-based, AI-powered assessment and learning system that covers K-12, homeschool and even college content.
Exeter-based edtech startup Sparx is receiving an injection of €22 million from Oxygen House, an ethical and impact-centric group of companies. Founded in 2010, Sparx is an in-class and homework solution that uses machine learning, personalised content, and data analytics to help teachers be more effective and improve learning outcomes for students in maths. Its first product'Sparx Maths', which focuses on 11 to 16-year-old students, was launched in September 2018 and combines high-quality content, including 32,000 carefully designed maths questions and an adaptive AI technology platform. Its platform provides daily insights into class and student progress, allowing teachers to quickly identify trends. The initial investment from Oxygen House has helped Sparx to work closely with schools to research, test, and develop an approach to learning maths which is highly engaging.
In spite of the fact the EdTech market is predicted to reach $252 Billion by 2020 and that over $1 billion was invested in the sector in the US this year alone, many promising initiatives in the sector fail to make any real lasting impact. This is something that Vikas Pota is looking to change by putting education at the heart of the technology discussion. After eight years as CEO of the Varkey Foundation, Pota has now been appointed as Group Chief Executive of Tmrw Digital, Sunny Varkey's new holding company which will oversee all his EdTech businesses and investments, as well as set up a research institute dedicated to finding ways of leveraging technology to democratize access to education. My role at the Foundation taught me how incredibly complex EdTech is. You have this fundamental conflict between a really innovative group of technology entrepreneurs and a schooling system that dates back to the first industrial revolution."
The AI for Education 2019 Initiative Committee has completed the evaluations of prominent EdTech companies applying Artificial Intelligence to enhance education and learning. The companies selected in the list apply AI in different ways to benefit students, learners and the educational sector at large. The evaluation is part of the AI for Education 2019 Initiative, which aims to identify and showcase the most impactful and beneficial applications of Artificial Intelligence in the field of Education. We thank the AI for Education 2019 Initiative Committee Members who took part in the evaluations. They have evaluated the EdTech companies based on their vision, the maturity of their technology, and their contribution to applying AI technology to solve significant problems in the educational sector.