Cognitive Computing will Revolutionize K-12 and Higher Education
To say that cognitive computing is a disruptive technology is an understatement of huge proportions. Already it is freeing humans from tedious tasks, streamlining city traffic, improving emergency services, saving lives on operating tables, and delivering parcels to your front door.
Cognitive computing is poised to disrupt the entire education section as well.
The technology comprises technology platforms that combine machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, data mining, and human/computer interaction to mimic the workings of the human brain.
Experts expect that cognitive computing will transform the educational landscape by making education more interactive and creative.
IBM Watson is an example of such a cognitive computer system that will completely change how schools, colleges, and universities are run, and how they offer their services. For students, cognitive computing will radically change their learning experience.
Throughout the education spectrum, from pre-primary through to high school and tertiary education institutions, cognitive computing systems will automate administrative processes that, in the past, took untold human hours to perform.
This will help to reduce costs and lead to administrative efficiency throughout the education sector.
“It used to take days or even weeks to analyze some of the trends to see how our enrolment campaigns were tracking against our historical data, but now we’re reducing that to hours or even minutes,” Dr. Rick Ede, chief executive officer of Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology told the BBC.
Another factor that will positively affect the bottom line, is the ability of cognitive computing to follow students throughout their school and university life cycle, gathering personalized insights and adapting to the evolving needs of students, which in turn, will improve retention.
Also, schools, colleges, and universities will be able to leverage cognitive computing to better support students in their studies. One element of this is that each student will have access to a personalized learning and assessment experience.
This is especially important at pre-primary and primary level education. In the past, so many pupils fell through the cracks because their preferences and unique learning styles were not taken into account.
Cognitive computing assistants can be of great value here. They can monitor a student’s progress and note when they fail to grasp basic concepts, something that could later sabotage their learning. Cognitive assistants can offer adapted learning materials and take students through their work at their own pace.
The cognitive assistant can also keep the teacher appraised of the student’s progress or lack thereof so appropriate action can be taken.
Higher education will also see the rise of cognitive assistants.
Students at university are overwhelmed with information. It is as impossible for them to make sense of it all as it is for any lecturer or administrative staff member to have sensible answers to all possible questions that students might ask.
Here cognitive computing platforms really come into their own. They can analyze and distill torrents of data, make sense of it, and produce actionable suggestions for staff and students. Students don’t have to be bothered with all the information – they just get the distilled answer after all the diverse information has been digested by the learning algorithms.
In the future, cognitive platforms will become indispensable for students, teachers, and administrative staff, right through the entire education sector. The technology will fulfill diverse roles that will be the glue that keeps everything going.