Human learning is a complex, sometimes mysterious process. Most of us have had experiences where we have struggled to learn something new, but also times when we’ve picked something up nearly effortlessly.
What if a fusion of computer science and psychology could help us understand more about how people learn, making it possible to design ideal lessons?
That long-range goal is moving toward reality thanks to an effort led by professors in the University of Wisconsin-Madison departments of computer sciences, psychology and educational psychology. Their collaborative research aims to break new ground in what computer scientist Jerry Zhu calls “machine teaching” — a twist on the more familiar concept of machine learning.
“My hope is that machine teaching has an impact on the educational world. It’s quite different from how people usually think about education,” says Zhu. “It will give us optimal, personalized lessons for real, human students.”
Machine learning is a well-established subfield of computer science in which experts develop mathematical tools to help computers learn from data and detect patterns. The machine learner (the computer) is like a student. The goal of machine learning is to develop models that will prove useful in the future when dealing with large, often unwieldly data sets. Practical tasks like speech recognition are aided by machine learning.
Machine teaching turns this concept on its ear. Rather than dealing with pools of data and not knowing at the outset what patterns might be revealed through analysis, the researcher in a machine teaching arrangement already knows what knowledge he or she wants to impress upon the learner.
Machine teaching uses sophisticated mathematics to allow researchers to model actual human students and devise the best possible lessons for teaching them. While the definition of “best” in a particular setting is up to the teacher, one example could be identifying the smallest number of exercises needed for a particular student to grasp a concept. Or, as Zhu puts it, “Can five really good questions teach the material, rather than 20?”
While this work is still in its early stages, it has immense potential to impact education.
Timothy T. Rogers, a professor of cognitive psychology at UW-Madison and one of Zhu’s collaborators, explains how computer science and psychology come together.
“In order for the machine teaching approach to work, it needs a good model of how the learner behaves — that is, how the learner’s behavior changes with different kinds of learning or practice experiences,” Rogers says. “Also, the model needs to be computational; it has to be able to make concrete, quantitative predictions about the learner’s behavior.”
The Latest on: Machine teaching
via Google News
The Latest on: Machine teaching
- Watch Jason Wu Make a Dress Out of Newspaperon September 8, 2019 at 6:35 am
When the designer Jason Wu was 10 years old, his mother bought him his first sewing machine. Soon, he was teaching himself pattern-making, fitting and other techniques that would shape his precocious ...
- Story Time: The time machineon September 6, 2019 at 7:50 pm
The government had asked me to make this machine so that they could make modern technologies more advanced by teaching the people in the past what we know. I realised it could have bad results that we ...
- Health Foundation award of £67K to build digital road map of outpatient care for Sheffield Teaching Hospitalson September 6, 2019 at 9:17 am
The project will utilise sophisticated machine-learning tools and techniques to track 32 ... to undertake clinical processes such as height and weight checks at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ ...
- DNA gadget at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital not functioningon September 6, 2019 at 4:59 am
For his part, Seth Agyemang Deputy Chief Biomedical Scientist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital noted that the facility was unable to sustain the use of the machine due to reasons which are being handled ...
- Teaching ethics in computer science the right way with Georgia Tech’s Charles Isbellon September 5, 2019 at 10:03 am
Of course, this begs questions about how much the ethics lessons such prestigious schools are teaching are actually ... an expert on statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence ...
- Teachers vs technology: Can machines replace educators?on September 4, 2019 at 6:57 pm
With machine learning spreading its wings and teaching techniques expanding from projectors to smart boards, there still seems to be a lacuna when compared to the work of a teacher. Rekha Pachauri, ...
- Japan Is Pioneering Machine Interfaces That Are Hardwired For Kindnesson September 2, 2019 at 9:48 am
Teaching machines to have empathy It isn’t just a sense of philosophy that has positioned Japan favorably for the next wave of technological progress. It also has accumulated vital experience in ...
- WHIZ KID! 10-yr-old tweaks Artificial Intelligence, gets teaching appointmenton August 31, 2019 at 9:12 pm
“In the Code Club, I am teaching HTML and CSS, also Graphics because if you ... However, to my surprise, when I commenced lessons, I found it very easy. Moreover, Machine Learning deals with high core ...
- Facebook is teaching an AI to play Minecrafton August 29, 2019 at 1:59 pm
Many companies will feed their machine learning models images, videos, or other forms of media to improve their effectiveness, while others turn to slightly more unconventional methods to accomplish ...
- Coughing, colonoscopies and porn: the tedium of teaching AIon August 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm
AI, most people in the tech industry would tell you, is the future of their industry, and it is improving fast thanks to something called machine learning. But tech executives rarely discuss the ...
via Bing News