Could Artificial Intelligence Automate Student Note-Taking?
There are many advantages to taking notes in class. There is only one problem though. Unless you are able to write at the same speed the lecturer speaking, you miss out on important information. Writing frantically while trying to process what is being said is, to say the least, counterproductive.
What if you could have an artificial intelligence assistant to take down your notes for you? You could just sit back and give your full attention to the lecture secure in the knowledge that at the end of the lecture, you will have everything that was said organized in notes.
An enterprise voice assistant named EVA
In the business world, there are already a few companies that have developed solutions to automate note-taking at meetings. Voicea is a voice collaboration platform powered by an Enterprise Voice Assistant named EVA. EVA is an AI that can recognize voices and natural speech. It takes notes at meetings, capturing the highlights and identifies speakers. Whether you’re meeting online or in person, EVA lets you focus on the discussion knowing that the important aspects will be summarized by EVA. What’s great about the system is that it summarizes key points and points out actions to be taken.
EVA is not ideal for student note-taking, though as Voicea was not originally designed with education in mind. One issue is the proximity of the device to the speaker.
Voicea is designed for meetings and meetings are collections of people at work, in a conference room or on the phone. In an educational environment, you have lecture halls with one person in front speaking to a group of people. In such an environment a student’s phone won’t be close enough to the speaker.
In addition, Voicea was designed to focus on decisions, next steps, follow-ups, and other actionable outcomes. It highlights the important elements of meeting discussions. Should students want to use it, they have to have their device close to the lecturer and they have to customize EVA to listen to keywords that are useful for them.
Software that takes notes for students
Sonocent makes it easier to take better notes. With the software, you can capture everything you hear without having to write it down, and you can highlight key points for review with a single click. Plus you can add your slides, diagrams, and text notes to the same project.
The software allows you to record lectures on your laptop or mobile device and to import other media and text notes next to the audio files. The recordings are broken up into smaller chunks of information each time it detects a pause to make the audio easier to organize. According to the Sonocent website, 87% of 929 students surveyed in June 2016, say Sonocent has improved their grades.
The Sonocent audio note-taking software is also a great aid for students with disabilities, enabling them to become independent learners. The software enables almost any student to capture and engage with a wide range of educational content. The software has helped more than 100,000 students with disabilities at schools, colleges, and universities. That includes students with dyslexia, ADHD and ADD, dyspraxia, autism, PTSD, and those with physical impairments.
As far as we could ascertain, there is room for the development of AI solutions that would automate note-taking for students. Such solutions, especially if they could summarize the important aspects of a lecture, would be invaluable to students who could then focus all their attention on the lecture while knowing that notes are being created for them.