There is mounting public concern over the influence that AI based systems has in our society. Coalitions in all sectors are acting worldwide to resist hamful applications of AI. From indigenous people addressing the lack of reliable data, to smart city stakeholders, to students protesting the academic relationships with sex trafficker and MIT donor Jeffery Epstein, the questionable ethics and values of those heavily investing in and profiting from AI are under global scrutiny. There are biased, wrongful, and disturbing assumptions embedded in AI algorithms that could get locked in without intervention. Our best human judgment is needed to contain AI's harmful impact. Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of AI will be to make us ultimately understand how important human wisdom truly is in life on earth.
The objective of personalized learning is to design an effective knowledge acquisition track that matches the learner's strengths and bypasses her weaknesses to ultimately meet her desired goal. This concept emerged several years ago and is being adopted by a rapidly-growing number of educational institutions around the globe. In recent years, the boost of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), together with the advances in big data analysis, has unfolded novel perspectives to enhance personalized education in numerous dimensions. By taking advantage of AI/ML methods, the educational platform precisely acquires the student's characteristics. This is done, in part, by observing the past experiences as well as analyzing the available big data through exploring the learners' features and similarities. It can, for example, recommend the most appropriate content among numerous accessible ones, advise a well-designed long-term curriculum, connect appropriate learners by suggestion, accurate performance evaluation, and the like. Still, several aspects of AI-based personalized education remain unexplored. These include, among others, compensating for the adverse effects of the absence of peers, creating and maintaining motivations for learning, increasing diversity, removing the biases induced by the data and algorithms, and the like. In this paper, while providing a brief review of state-of-the-art research, we investigate the challenges of AI/ML-based personalized education and discuss potential solutions.
In a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), predictive models of student behavior can support multiple aspects of learning, including instructor feedback and timely intervention. Ongoing courses, when the student outcomes are yet unknown, must rely on models trained from the historical data of previously offered courses. It is possible to transfer models, but they often have poor prediction performance. One reason is features that inadequately represent predictive attributes common to both courses. We present an automated transductive transfer learning approach that addresses this issue. It relies on problem-agnostic, temporal organization of the MOOC clickstream data, where, for each student, for multiple courses, a set of specific MOOC event types is expressed for each time unit. It consists of two alternative transfer methods based on representation learning with auto-encoders: a passive approach using transductive principal component analysis and an active approach that uses a correlation alignment loss term. With these methods, we investigate the transferability of dropout prediction across similar and dissimilar MOOCs and compare with known methods. Results show improved model transferability and suggest that the methods are capable of automatically learning a feature representation that expresses common predictive characteristics of MOOCs.