Carnegie Mellon University
April 30, 2020

New AI Enables Teachers To Rapidly Develop Intelligent Tutoring Systems

"Teaching Computers To Teach" Is Key, Say Carnegie Mellon Researchers

By Byron Spice

Intelligent tutoring systems have been shown to be effective in helping to teach certain subjects, such as algebra or grammar, but creating these computerized systems is difficult and laborious. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown they can rapidly build them by, in effect, teaching the computer to teach.

Using a new method that employs artificial intelligence, a teacher can teach the computer by demonstrating several ways to solve problems in a topic, such as multicolumn addition, and correcting the computer if it responds incorrectly.

Notably, the computer system learns to not only solve the problems in the ways it was taught, but also to generalize to solve all other problems in the topic, and do so in ways that might differ from those of the teacher, said Daniel Weitekamp III, a Ph.D. student in CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII).

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