Google just launched the most powerful large language model (LLM) the world has ever seen – Gemini. Gemini now powers Google’s publicly accessible genAI service: Bard.

Last week the UK government published a report claiming that the finance, public, legal and education sectors would be the sectors most severely impacted by genAI.

So we asked Bard (Gemini) how those sectors will be impacted by AI, and we then asked our sector experts and our AI director, Luke Budka, for their opinions.

How will the education sector be impacted by AI?

Bard says:

GenAI can revolutionise education by providing personalised learning experiences, enhancing accessibility, and supporting teachers in their instructional roles.

It can be used to:

  • Personalise learning: genAI can analyse student data, such as learning styles, interests, and performance, to create personalised learning pathways that cater to individual needs. This can help students learn more effectively and reach their full potential.
  • Generate educational content: genAI can generate customised educational materials, such as personalised assignments, practice problems, and study guides, based on specific learning objectives. This can save teachers time and provide students with tailored learning experiences.
  • Enhance accessibility: genAI tools can transcribe lectures, translate languages, and provide real-time feedback to students with disabilities, making education more inclusive and accessible to a wider range of learners.
  • Provide support: on assignments, and can assist teachers in creating engaging lessons, marking assignments, and identifying struggling students. This can help teachers focus on more personalised interactions and overall classroom management.

Fiona Corey our MD of public sector, education and infrastructure adds:

“It’s worth acknowledging that teachers are massively time-poor and any tools that can speed up their business-as-usual tasks, will free them up for more student contact time.

“The flip side of this is that it will require a bit of time and investment to train teachers and lecturers on how to use genAI effectively, at a time when budgets are more stretched than ever before.

“GenAI can also be used to make lessons and lectures more fun and engaging and push creativity; to explore different writing styles, create bespoke imagery, using gamification to engage hard-to-reach students.”

What should the education sector do about it?

Luke Budka, our AI director says:

“Reports that students are using genAI as personal tutors are widespread. A small survey carried out by two BBC young reporters found that 31 out of the reporters’ 33 classmates had used AI in their schoolwork. This is concerning given its tendency to hallucinate (output information that sounds plausible but that is factually incorrect) and the opaque nature of the training data used in the creation of ChatGPT and Bard.

“The other concern is students cheating and genAI robbing them of an education – not great for the economy and future society.

“The latter is almost impossible to prevent with the current curriculum and the Department for Education will need to take the lead on revising how learning fundamentally works – to be fair the DfE’s been proactive and already concluded an initial call for evidence on this, results of which will be published next year.

“The hallucination issue, however, is solvable. One of the proven ways to prevent hallucinations is to augment LLMs with external data sources. This is the first step. Students need easy natural language access to LLMs rooted in ‘truth’ aligned to the national curriculum.”

Fiona adds:

“This needs to be balanced against teaching them real-life skills that businesses will be looking for. Every school and university wants to turn out young people who are employable and tech-aware so teaching students how to use genAI responsibly from an early age will be critical.”

Luke continues:

“It’s important not just to focus on the negatives though. For example, GPT-4 Turbo accepts multimodal inputs, meaning students can analyse real world images in detail, massively increasing learning potential. It also introduces a level of accessibility to students with disabilities. For example, there’s nothing stopping a school, with limited budgets, from building an app to help people who are visually impaired with daily learning tasks; the price point for this tech is low.

“We’re also really excited about the potential of GPT-4 Turbo with vision in the world of maths and science tutoring, where the only way to know if a student has truly understood a concept is to grade the ‘workings’ as well as the final answer. Now students can literally ‘show’ their workings and the AI can help them correct their thinking outside of a packed classroom. Let’s be honest, there were 37 children in my class when I was a child and the teaching resource was stretched (and that’s putting it mildly). A dedicated AI tutor for every child to spend as long as they like with, both within the classroom environment and at home, could really help increase academic attainment on a level never previously thought possible.

“And on the topic of packed classrooms and overworked teachers, we’ve seen promising examples of faculty using AI to help them manage workloads (the UK government has also confirmed that early research shows teachers will benefit from a reduction in admin). If there was ever a professional demographic who needed help with administration, so they can spend their time focusing on more important tasks, it’s teachers.

“Even though education has got off to a rocky start with genAI, it feels like, once the dust settles, its positive transformative effect on future generations’ academic attainment, could be profound.”

 

Drop us a line if you’re interested in having chat about our genAI services, from tone of voice tuning to private environments.