Artificial Intelligence Teaching Robot
Robotics using artificial intelligence have become increasingly prolific over the past decade. Usually, the programs power the execution of rudimentary tasks such as walking or holding items, and the robots often have sensors that make them aware of their surroundings. Additionally, the actual programming software that developers use for AI robots is a simulation of human intelligence. This allows the robot to process and analyze information and data, as well as “think,” communicate with and respond to humans. AI robots can also accumulate experience through special algorithms which allow them to learn rapidly. Here is some information about Vietnam’s artificial intelligence teaching robot.

Vietnam’s Artificial Intelligence Teaching Robot 

EdTech startup Open Classroom recently developed Vietnam’s first artificial intelligence teaching robot, Tri Nhan. In addition to the typical features and functions of traditional artificial intelligence robots, Tri Nhan stands at 1.8 meters tall and has synthetic human organs such as lungs, a heart, a simulated DNA double-helix structure and “good” and “evil” circuits, making it seem even more human-like. 

Tri Nhan means both “artificial intelligence” and “wise man,” and the world’s first robot, Sophia, meaning wisdom, inspired it.

Tri Nhan is also equipped with five “senses” — vision via cameras in its eyes, hearing via long-range microphones, smell via air quality sensors, touch via temperature and pressure sensors and taste via a meter attached to an anti-toxic device. These artificial “senses” have merged with a Google search engine, allowing the robot to conduct various tasks. 

Additionally, Tri Nhan has also been equipped with an artificial “personality,” which is almost human-like, according to Pham Thanh Nam, the AI expert who developed the robot. Tri Nhan has a certain level of emotional intelligence and even tells jokes. 

How Does This Improve Education? 

Tri Nhan can recognize voices speaking both Vietnamese and English and process natural human conversation, as well as translate sentences from other languages. Currently, Tri Nhan’s main purpose is for teaching assistance. It can answer questions from teachers and students and cater to many different subject areas, as it recognizes a question and then searches for the information online using search engines. This artificial intelligence teaching robot can also solve mathematical equations and read poetry, making it a useful tool in any classroom. Using its high-level programming, Tri Nhan helps to actively teach children, as well as give them assessments and correct their mistakes. It can also help students learn from their mistakes and use the skills they have learned in lessons. Parents can also receive reports and track their children’s grades via an app linked to Tri Nhan. 

This helps both students and teachers in Vietnam significantly, as teachers are often overworked due to the shortage of teaching staff in the country, and students lack a high level of personalized attention from the overworked teachers. The Vietnamese education authority stated in 2022 that Vietnam needed more than 94,700 teachers across all levels of education. Many areas that lack teachers are remote, but even high schools in Ho Chi Minh City are suffering from overcrowding and staff shortages.

Innovations such as artificial intelligence teaching robots have improved the quality of teaching for many students and teachers who have had the opportunity to use them, which is a welcome advantage in less developed countries such as Vietnam. 

Education and Poverty

Lack of education is one of the main factors perpetuating poverty and impeding economic development in many countries. Inadequate education prevents people from acquiring the fundamental skills and knowledge to obtain meaningful employment and financial stability. Higher levels of education can break cycles of poverty and improve people’s standard of living. 

Although there is still a certain amount of technological development required to produce a fully-functional teacher in Tri Nhan, it is highly feasible that an AI-teaching robot such as Tri Nhan could be educating children in the future, and it is clear that the Vietnamese EdTech sector has established a solid foundation in this sphere.

– Molly Wallace
Photo: Flickr

Fighting Poverty With AIFrom identifying the best ways to improve agriculture, finance and education in impoverished areas, to finding those who need help the most through satellite images, fighting poverty with AI is becoming a common practice. Although the idea of using artificial intelligence to address such sensitive issues can be unsettling for some, the technology has delivered some remarkable benefits.

Identifying Poverty

According to a Big Cloud article, identifying poverty is an important first step in addressing it. AI technology can identify the direst of situations, thereby enabling poverty-relief programs to provide aid swiftly, efficiently and effectively. The technology also helps identify the primary causes of poverty in different regions. Factors such as war, a lack of resources and political instability all represent some of the causes of poverty. Each of these situations has different solutions. This means that war-induced poverty should have a different solution from poverty that’s a result of a lack of resources. And AI can facilitate the identification of root causes and appropriate alleviatory measures.


Numerous challenges hinder agricultural work, posing obstacles for farmers worldwide, especially those relying on their yields for sustenance and livelihood. Beyond mere survival, food plays a vital role in employment and personal advancement. The advent of AI not only enhances agricultural practices but also contributes to the fight against poverty.

While farmers in developed nations have access to information on innovative farming techniques and impending natural disasters, their counterparts in developing countries struggle to obtain such resources. Here, AI can offer valuable assistance. One of its key contributions is providing farmers with crucial insights on optimal fertilizers and crops tailored to their specific regions. Additionally, AI enables swift detection of contamination and crop diseases, surpassing the capabilities of traditional farming methods. Consequently, farmers can salvage a greater portion of their yields.

Finance and Education

Employment and education equality are crucial factors that directly impact individuals’ vulnerability to extreme poverty. The use of AI to address these issues holds the potential to aid organizations and governments in the fight against poverty. With the increasing reliance on the internet and AI in finance and education, leveraging these tools becomes more feasible to eliminate inequalities in these domains, as highlighted by Big Cloud. While the idea of AI teachers may evoke apprehension, it also presents exciting possibilities. An AI teacher or a teacher assisted by AI can personalize education based on a student’s needs and abilities.

AI can also create new financial opportunities for impoverished communities worldwide. In developed nations, both employers and job seekers already utilize AI algorithms, and these technologies can effectively strengthen job markets. Additionally, AI has the potential to assist impoverished families in establishing robust credit scores. By prioritizing essential data for families and lenders, AI can facilitate the identification of loans that best suit individuals’ needs, enabling those in dire need to improve their quality of life.

Satellites and AI

AI also works in tandem with other technological solutions to fight poverty. For example, Stanford University scholars used satellite images from throughout sub-Saharan Africa to predict poverty in various regions. Nighttime images of electric lights and daytime images of infrastructure like roads and agriculture were used as indicators of a region’s wealth.

When an algorithm used these images to make these poverty predictions, the level of accuracy was between 81% and 99%, as reported by Big Cloud. Burke and his team suggest that anti-poverty programs and NGOs could use this technology to better understand the most effective ways to fight poverty.

Looking Ahead

AI is proving to be a powerful tool, enabling swift identification of those in need and the root causes of poverty. The technology holds the potential to promote employment and education equality, creating new financial opportunities and personalized learning experiences. Its various applications and capabilities in fighting poverty suggest that it can be a vital tool in the exploration and implementation of initiatives that can improve living conditions for all.

– Christina Albrecht
Photo: Flickr

AI In International DevelopmentThe launch of ChatGPT and other language models is only the latest evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). While so much focus is on how AI is reshaping education and the workplace, its impacts go much further. These and other emerging AI applications promise to reshape the world, but more attention is necessary to understand how to best use AI in international development and understand the consequences of using it. AI has the capability to support development programs. It also shows great potential in fostering positive outcomes in health, inclusive governance, economic growth and building environmental safeguards.

The Benefits of Using AI for International Development

The key ways AI can aid international development objectives include the following:

  • Data Analysis: AI technology can analyze vast amounts of data from various sources, including census, surveys and social media, to identify patterns and trends in poverty rates, income inequality and access to basic services. This helps governments make informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively to address poverty.
  • Predictive Modeling & Early Warning Systems: AI can help create predictive models that forecast future poverty rates and identify high-risk populations. It can do similar analyses to predict and serve as early warnings for disasters. This comes with the upside of enabling governments to anticipate and prepare for future challenges and develop targeted interventions.
  • Decision Support Systems: AI can help develop decision support systems that provide real-time information to policymakers on the impact of various policy options. This could help governments make more informed decisions and identify the most effective policy interventions.
  • Digital Financial Inclusion: AI technology can assist to develop digital financial services such as mobile banking and microfinance to provide financial services to underserved populations. This can potentially facilitate poverty alleviation by providing access to credit, savings and insurance to those who may not have had access before.
  • Precision Agriculture: AI also has applications in agriculture where it helps to optimize crop yields, reduce wastage and increase food security. This can help farmers in developing countries to boost income and reduce poverty by increasing productivity and profitability.
  • Supporting Low-Carbon Systems: AI systems could help cities efficiently use resources and enable smart and low-carbon cities and support circular economies that use a broad range of AI tech such as electric cars, smart appliances and smart grids.

Achieving Development Objectives with AI

The aforementioned applications are not hypothetical as governments have already begun using AI tools to achieve development objectives. Some of such achievements are as follows:

  • Health Care Improvements: The government of Rwanda is using AI to deliver medical supplies to remote areas through drones with the help of Zipline Inc. In India, the government launched Aarogya Setu, an AI-based platform to track and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The platform uses AI to collect data on COVID-19 cases and also provide real-time information to citizens.
  • Reporting Violence: In Bangladesh, AI tools have been used to track media reports of violence against women by creating a visualization, emphasizing different and specific cases of gender-based assault.
  • Monitoring Protected Habitats: Private industries like Rainforest Connection are using AI to work with governments in monitoring protected habitats. Rainforest Connection uses AI to recognize patterns of activity related to poaching, including alerts for trucks, cars and motorcycles that poachers use in key protected areas.

The Drawbacks

While AI has the potential to improve many aspects of society, there are also issues that raise concerns. Some of such issues include:

  • Bias and Fairness: AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on and if the data contains biases, the system will reproduce those biases. This could lead to unfair and discriminatory outcomes, particularly for marginalized groups.
  • Ethical Considerations: There are ethical questions around the use of AI, particularly around issues of privacy and consent, according to a USAID report. For example, collecting and using personal data to deliver aid could be an invasion of privacy, particularly in contexts where there are weak data protection laws.
  • Technical Limitations: AI systems are not a silver bullet for poverty reduction and there are limits to what they can do. For example, they may struggle to deal with complex social and cultural contexts or to address the root causes of poverty.
  • Cost and Access: AI technology can be expensive to develop and deploy, and this can limit its use in low-income countries. There may also be issues around access, particularly in areas with poor internet connectivity or limited technical expertise.
  • Accountability and Transparency: There are concerns around the accountability and transparency of AI systems, particularly if using such systems to make decisions about resource allocation or service provision. It may be difficult to understand how the system arrived at a particular decision and to challenge that decision if it is incorrect or unfair.

What is Next?

AI has the power to foster progress by enabling the achievement of long-sought development goals, but it can just as easily be a catalyst for creating further inequality and conflict and strengthening authoritarian governments. This suggests that increased international cooperation and regulation are necessary to curb or control the negative externalities of AI development.

– Andrew Giganti
Photo: Unsplash

AI in AfricaArtificial intelligence (AI) is grabbing headlines across world news. What isn’t getting much attention is how AI in Africa can and already is helping to alleviate poverty. These progressive trends, however, are not without potential risks. The following is a look into some of the pros and cons of AI reliance in Africa.

Poverty Identification

Some Stanford scholars have pioneered a method to identify poverty by using AI to examine readily-available satellite imagery of African regions to estimate current poverty levels and development over time. The tool examines both daytime and nighttime imagery and human infrastructure such as roads or housing. It also uses light at night in tandem to assess levels of development in a region. This application of AI in Africa could help governments and organizations understand where poverty is concentrated regionally and thus direct effort and resources to these areas in efforts to alleviate poverty.


Several instances indicate the utility of AI in African agriculture. AI-supported phone apps such as Agrix Tech has supported crop farming in Cameroon. The app allows farmers to upload pictures of crops for assessment. The app then assesses the crop’s health, diagnosing any issues and suggesting remedies. Due to high levels of illiteracy, the app also reads the diagnosis aloud in local languages.

The U.N. has also launched several AI-based apps that provide information about weather patterns, production techniques, fertilizers and so on. These advancements carry the potential to help African farmers make more informed decisions, thereby boosting agricultural yield.

The popular app Hello Tractor is also in use across the continent. The app helps connect small farmers with local tractor owners to provide these farms with farming machinery that can dramatically increase the speed, efficiency and productivity of their operations.


There have been significant examples of AI’s potential in aiding African finance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Togo government quickly built a mobile payment platform called Novissi which leveraged AI to identify the most vulnerable people and distribute financial support. This initiative resulted in financial aid reaching more than 500,000 people. This result suggests that AI can transform the process of aid provision for those living in poverty for the better.

Taking Jobs and Widening Inequality

Alongside its positive sides, AI has some potential cons. Goldman Sachs recently claimed that AI and automation could make 300 million jobs worldwide obsolete. This danger poses a risk in Africa, potentially threatening millions of jobs.

Furthermore, much of the most cutting-edge work in AI is taking place in other continents, such as Europe and Asia and Africans worry that it is experiencing a brain drain, with talented Africans continuing to seek work abroad. Not only does this mean that Africa’s workforce could shrink, but the development of AI in Africa and its potential benefits could be hindered.

Looking Ahead

The potential benefits of AI to alleviate African poverty are huge, but regulation and adherence to ethical guidelines such as those agreed upon by the OECD or UNESCO will be necessary to ensure that the technology doesn’t cause more harm than good. Overall, the technology has shown the potential to empower farmers, connect communities and provide targeted assistance to vulnerable populations.


– Saul Gunn
Photo: Flickr

Artificial Intelligence BenefitsA branch of computer science that makes machines and technology usually performed by humans, artificial intelligence (AI) includes problem solving, decision-making and understanding language. AI systems rely on algorithms and data collection to observe patterns, make predictions and provide answers.

By ethically using the power of machine learning and analytics, AI can complete administrative and automotive tasks. It can also make informed decisions, and cater to individuals who are typically underrepresented in communities. Artificial intelligence benefits has the potential to transform our society by improving education systems, health care and environmental sustainability.


One of the main advantages of AI is its ability to create personalized learning plans for students. AI can collect data and analyze a student’s learning style and performance. It does this based on students’ response time and the types of questions they get correct. Data can be used to customize curriculums that are tailored for individual students.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach is what most education systems use today because it is unrealistic to expect a teacher to create a custom plan for every student in their classroom. Challenges are presented with this education system, though. Many students do not find the current approach engaging. In fact, they actually find that it hinders their learning experience. Personalized learning can help resolve issues that higher education institutions face, such as dropout rates and overall lack of motivation.

In Pakistan, the educational platform Maqsad creates personalized educational content for students, catering to their specific needs through data analysis. This digital learning has been embraced when its need surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artificial intelligence benefits education systems inside and outside of the classroom. At Staffordshire University in the U.K., an AI chatbot provides personalized answers to questions regarding university services and other support. This allows professors and campus staff more time to handle other administrative tasks. It also allows them to collect data on what individuals are confused about to better serve their student population.

Environmental Sustainability

Artificial intelligence benefits have the potential to facilitate environmental sustainability in many ways. Energy consumption, agriculture, manufacturing and resource management can improve with the help of AI technology.

When it comes to energy consumption, AI can optimize energy usage in buildings, transportation systems and manufacturing processes. The technology does this by using predictive analytics to manage the supply and demand chain of energy and stop carbon pollution.

In agriculture, AI can help predict weather patterns that would impact crops. It can reduce the use of fertilizer and water, two resources that, when used in large quantities, could harm the environment and ecosystems.

In Africa, advanced technology is being used to optimize agriculture and improve crop yields through “Digital soil mapping.” Digital soil mapping uses spatial data to predict the soil’s capacity to provide quality resources such as crops. It also identifies any deficiencies the soil might have, such as harmful aluminum toxicity.

By leveraging AI and machine learning, companies and communities can make data-driven decisions that have positive impacts on the environment and their businesses.

Health Care

Artificial Intelligence can improve patient outcomes with personalized treatment plans, medical imaging, decision-making and much more. It is documented that reviewing medical records and recording notes can take up to more than half a physician’s time. The use of AI language technology can free up time for medical practitioners by transcribing their meetings and inputting data into medical software. AI can also help diagnose patients by asking them a series of questions and analyzing their symptoms to provide accurate medical explanations.

In India, 70% of health care services operate from the private sector, which makes access to adequate health care extremely difficult for those living at or below the poverty line. AI-based technologies are being used to detect diseases and diagnose patients. One company, SigTuple, is developing a system that can analyze blood samples to detect abnormalities and diagnose diseases like tuberculosis.

These AI systems can help resolve the medical inequalities faced by people living in poverty. It can also uneven the ratio of doctors to patients in impoverished communities, as well as improve the overall efficiency of public health care.

Mental Health

Mental health is another area in which artificial intelligence benefits many people. A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that individuals suffering from PTSD and other mental illnesses are more comfortable speaking with virtual programs because of the fear of being judged. This could help advance mental health services by initially having patients speak with AI technology and then taking those answers and providing them with the best care.

Moving Forward

Based on recent trends, artificial intelligence can be beneficial to society when used correctly. In places like Pakistan, India and Africa, artificial intelligence and advanced technology models have already led to progress in areas of education, environmental sustainability and health care. And the positive outcomes suggest that there is room for even more progress.

Kellyjohana Ahumada

Photo: Pexels 

AI in Indian agricultureIndia is a nation with immense economic potential. In 2021, the World Bank ranked the nation first among the world’s seven largest emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). India boasts an economy expected to grow by 7% in 2023. Despite this, its agricultural sector has struggled to keep up with the productivity levels in other comparable nations. A host of persistent structural issues inhibit irrigation, communication and a general understanding of crops.

AI, however, is increasingly helping innovate India’s agricultural economy. With the promise of abundant near-future investment, it could hold the key to a breakthrough in Indian agriculture. This, in turn, could yield a breakthrough in the battle against poverty.

The Importance of Agriculture to India’s Economy

For India, agriculture is key to its socioeconomic welfare. It is crucial to both its economy and food security, employing some 200 million people. The industry makes up 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 40% of the total rural net domestic product.

General poverty rates in India have halved between 2006 and 2016, but India’s agricultural system suffers from acute structural issues. It is markedly behind the worldwide average in key areas, such as yield productivity in essential crops, water availability and market access.

These issues depreciate farm incomes and significantly worsen livelihoods, ultimately increasing indigence. India, however, finds itself at an inflection point, at which new technologies are showing the potential to galvanize productivity and alleviate poverty.

How AI is Causing Positive Change

In recent years, breakthroughs in artificial intelligence have allowed farmers to better understand their land, soil and crop health as well as neighboring environments. Two teams at Google are leveraging AI in Indian agriculture in order to develop a “unified ‘landscape understanding.” The AI works by employing satellite imagery and machine learning to draw boundaries between fields, crucial to forming meaningful calculations. Following this, the AI can determine the acreage of farm fields, as well as irrigation structures like farm wells which can help create tools for drought preparedness. This can also help calculate previous water availability over the past month, three months or year, all critical in establishing water security and drought management strategies.

Another promising advance for AI in Indian agriculture has come from the World Economic Forum’s Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture Innovation (AI4AI). This is led by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) India. By promoting the use of artificial intelligence, the AI4AI aims to “bring… together government, academia and business representatives” to develop innovative solutions for the agricultural sector. As of January 2023, 7,000 farmers, primarily chili producers, have been using the technology to monitor their crops. They also use it to perform quality control and test soil, which helps them access new customers in different regions.

An Even Brighter Future

The positive effects of AI in Indian agriculture have two dimensions. For farmers today, the accurate understanding of field performance and environmental conditions it provides allows them to reduce land and water waste while increasing crop yield. Yet, even more promising is the potential benefits it could bring to future farmers. As more information is gathered on farm performance, agricultural loans will become more available. This will allow state governments to provide increasing support for farming districts at scale. AI in Indian agriculture, led by companies such as Google, will support its rapidly growing technology industry. New artificial machinery is also increasingly undergoing development to make farming practices more efficient and sustainable.

Domestic investment indicates a positive future. At present, there are more than 1,000 agri-tech startups in India. They offer a range of services, including digital finance, quality testing and market connect platforms. As agri-tech develops, these businesses should exponentially increase agriculture productivity and sustainability, improving food security for some of India’s poorest people.

Some Challenges AI May Face in Agriculture

Though AI presents a very exciting prospect for Indian agriculture, it is not free of potential challenges. Foremost among these is the fact that AI systems require a great deal of data to train machines and make accurate predictions. For large agricultural areas, learning models would take time to mature. Though solutions are emerging, there may be a significant delay until farmers can reap their full benefits.

Nonetheless, recent developments of AI in Indian agriculture herald a fundamental change in productivity that should continue revolutionizing the yield, communication and water access of farmers over the coming years, and perhaps even decades. This will provide vital economic assistance to India’s farmers, many of which live below the extreme poverty line, and crucially stabilize food security to help feed the country’s 1.4 billion people.

– Gabriel Gathercole
Photo: Flickr

AI technology
AI technology is all around and many use it without even knowing it. However, many people in developing countries cannot access this technology without help. WorldData has reported that there are 152 developing countries worldwide, with a population of 6.69 billion. The entirety of Central and South America and Africa are developing nations, along with the majority of Asia and other island states. About 9% of the global population is living in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.90 per day, and living below the higher poverty line. More than 20% earn less than $3.20 per day and more than 40% earn less than $5.50.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is basically coding and software that help people in daily life. While people know it best for its role in science and medicine, it also has a role in the productive robots in factories, the voice recognition in smartphones, the software that detects online viruses and the drones that deliver packages and help farmers. While there is no official definition for AI, it is typically a man-made machine that does things humans cannot do in a timely manner or at all. The term “artificial intelligence” or “AI” was created in 1956 at a conference in New Hampshire, the United States, but AI machines existed before that.

How is AI Technology Helping Developing Nations?

Agriculture. AI technology supports many different aspects of agriculture, particularly in Africa. It helps farmers take care of their crops by detecting when is the best time to plant and harvest. It can also help detect when crops are sick. For example, mCrops is a form of AI that helps diagnose crop diseases in Uganda. Additionally, another AI that is helpful in agriculture is drones that spray pesticides on sick plants. However, they can also spray water and help plant new crops in the healthiest parts of the ground. An example of this is Aerobotics, which works in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Education. AI technology can help developing nations, especially in rural areas, with education because it is effective for illiteracy, coursework and general school subjects, and can alleviate the short supply of teachers and supplies using tutoring technology. Sites like Dapito, Eneza Education and Tutorful help people connect around the world. For example, they teach English to non-English speakers, customizing content and lessons for a specific student. Students in developing nations are intelligent, but they lack qualified teachers and are sometimes unable to travel to school. For example, travel might not be available when there are floods and when they are sick, especially when many schools are far away.

Recognition. This method of AI includes location and supports many fields, such as health care, natural disasters, deliveries and shipments, and more, generally by the use of drones. An earthquake hit Nepal in 2015 where the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) used AI in relief to locate damage from social media posts, mobile devices, satellites and multiple other devices. Currently, the World Wildlife Fund uses drones in Kenya to arrest wildlife poachers, and UNICEF is building a machine to detect malnutrition using facial recognition.

AI Technology and Health Care

AI technology is helping globally, especially in rural countries in Africa. It is constantly undergoing development for health care but relies on the government, NGOs and medical professionals to authorize machines for medical use and support. AI can diagnose patients, recommend treatments and discover global viruses. For those living in rural and developing nations, AI is lifesaving as it can locate injured people which a normal navigation or GPS system cannot do, and send medicine and medical supplies via drones. It also provides qualified doctors to countries with a lack of medical professionals and to those who need a second opinion on diagnoses, treatment and surgery. This reduces costs, manual labor and mortality rates and develops education in health care and literacy.

In 2022, the University of West Scotland developed new AI technology that enables lung diseases to be identified faster with an accuracy of 98%, meaning diseases are less likely to spread and more people will be correctly diagnosed before a disease progresses and can receive treatment. Further research has found that it can detect COVID-19 cases. This technology is especially useful in developing nations during winter periods especially and globally in general. This will not replace human labor but will support hospitals. This AI technology cuts short the long wait and use of CT scans, blood tests, x-rays and ultrasounds, cutting down further costs and time taken to identify disease and illness.

– Deanna Barratt
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world and how it works. Machine learning offers new and more efficient solutions to the distribution and organization of services and resources. Specifically, AI is becoming a substitute for human decision-making in all fields from the justice system to sports.

China has started to apply AI to the education system, which has many potential benefits. China currently suffers from a large urban-rural divide that the strict household registration of Hukou has exaggerated. Hukou is a household registration system that has placed limitations on domestic migration in China. This makes it more difficult for those living in rural areas to migrate to the cities and obtain secure jobs.

As a result, China’s education level is surprisingly low for a country that is growing at such a vast rate. About 70% of the labor force in China does not have a high school education, falling far below the levels of countries with comparable incomes. AI provides opportunities for the entire Chinese population to receive an education. On top of this, AI education in China should allow for more specialized and accurate teaching schemes.

AI Education in China

An example of AI education in China is Squirrel AI. Squirrel AI specializes in “intelligent adaptive education.” The company is putting money into AI scientists so that they can invest more research into the field. Squirrel AI uses an algorithm so that students received 70% of teaching suggestions from AI and the other 30% from human teachers. This allows for an education tailored to the needs of each child whilst maintaining some human control to manage the machine learning process.

China has huge potential to implement schemes such as this due to its high development level in AI. The percentage of research papers from China working on AI development has risen from 4.2% in 1997 to 27.7% in 2017. China is now the leader in publications as well. On top of this, China is also the leader in patent applications concerning AI.

China’s other important advantage in AI research is that it is a one-nation state. This means that AI developers that the government backs have access to mass amounts of data compared to other nations. On top of this, it means that the implementation and regulation changes occur much more rapidly in China. This has helped enhance the production and development process of AI in China.

For example, China has utilized school-industry partnerships and school curriculums to bolster the understanding and implementation of AI in society.

Consequently, the growth of AI access, and efficacy in the education sector, has been sizable in China. For example, 248 schools from areas of low income received access to online lessons from a top-level high school. On top of this, AI education in China is also acting to shift the focus of the education system in China from the ‘assembly line’ approach of mass education to higher quality education for the masses. Instead of mass testing, AI programs will develop to meet the needs of each child’s abilities. On top of this, AI provides many benefits in its application as it is cheaper, and people can utilize it at any time and in any place.

Squirrel AI itself reflects this success, opening more than 1,800 learning centers in more than 300 cities. This shows the potential for the implementation of AI education in China.

Reduction in Urban-Rural Divide

This presents new hopes in reducing the 70% not graduating from high school in China. This could help to present new opportunities to the rural areas of China, and therefore, reduce inequality levels across the country. China needs to ensure that AI emerges in a way that does not act to further exacerbate these divides by promoting its accessibility to all. Other countries should be keenly watching the events that unfold in China’s near future, whether that be avoiding the mistakes China may make or adopting the AI and implementation process China pursues.

– Reuben Cochrane
Photo: Unsplash