AI is the basis for individualized teaching for the educator
For ICT educator Marcus Emas, Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise) and AI offer new opportunities to streamline the work with reference management, reading lists and assessing assignments, among other things. He emphasizes that AI at KI should be an equal tool and welcomes the introduction of Microsoft Copilot.
What is your view on AI solutions in teaching and learning?
"My work is very much about how digitalisation can support learning and contribute to flexible forms of teaching. AI can contribute to individualized learning where the technology provides feedback on the learning but also identifies the assumptions that form the basis of the student's reasoning. For teachers, the technology can streamline the work by analyzing assignments according to given assessment criteria. Seeing patterns and trends in teaching is also an area where AI can contribute," says Marcus Emas, manager for digital learning at the Unit for Teaching and Learning (UoL).
"The fact that KI provides an AI tool for all employees is important so that we can learn together about the opportunities and challenges that exist with new technology. We need to create forums where we can exchange ideas, experiences and tips on concrete areas of use in order to feel safe with AI. Being able to formulate a prompt, a question to AI, to achieve a certain result requires the opportunity to test and experiment, but also knowledge of the challenges and opportunities offered by technologies."
What AI applications have you tested?
"ChatGPT was one of the first tools I tested, followed by Bard and Microsoft Copilot (formerly Bing Chat Enterprise). The latter two are quite similar to each other. Most recently, I´ve tested a service called Petal, a tool that streamlines reference management and makes the work with literature reviews faster by being able to compare, analyze and relate information with AI. Being able to collect relevant literature and get answers to questions in a few seconds feels like magic. It still takes good questions for the AI chat to provide good answers, but it saves a lot of time."
"Descript is a tool that I have tested for media production. It includes a cool feature for anyone recording a lecture with a webcam, where the gaze is adjusted so that it looks like you are looking straight into the camera even though you are reading a script on the screen. A colleague showed me another tool, Whisper, which reads a script in a lifelike voice. Screen readers have been around for a while, but this tool makes it not sound as robotic. For teachers, this can make the work with recorded lectures more efficient, but so far, an avatar cannot completely replace the human address."
"AI functionality is something that I also use on a daily basis, including in Teams and Outlook, where the tools can suggest replies to messages. Often the answers don't need to be modified, but I can reply to a chat message with the click of a button."
What are the challenges of AI in education?
"The fact that everyone should be able to participate on equal terms also applies to AI. That's why it's important that students are given the conditions to use AI, and I'm thinking of both knowledge and tools. The pace of innovation and the launch of new AI tools is enormous, but often these tools are associated with a cost that may not be affordable for everyone. It is therefore important that higher education institutions are able to provide these tools."
"It's also important to remember that AI is relatively new and still requires more development, for example in cases where AI 'hallucinates' and invents things for which there is no evidence."
What opportunities do you see with AI over time?
"I believe that AI will have a transformative effect on society and, above all, education, where challenges and opportunities need to be balanced. In this respect, it is positive that the EU, for example, is developing directives for the responsible use of AI. Personally, I look forward to a time when the hardware needed to use AI will become invisible. I also hope that it will be an equal resource that leads to development for all," says Marcus Emas.