This is the Future of Education?

The guys behind Gradescope — Arjun, Sergey, Ibrahim, and Pieter — have raised $2.6M to push forward with their efforts in AI grading of student’s work:

The Future of Grading

Our graduate research in robotics, computer vision, and machine learning has focused on one question: how can machines learn to perform intelligent tasks? Deep learning is the current best approach. It’s an exceptionally powerful technique that understands speech on our phones, recognizes faces in pictures, and reads handwriting on checks.

[…]

We believe it’s possible to use deep learning to reduce time spent grading from hours to minutes — or even seconds — without compromising quality.

We call it “AI-assisted grading,” where machines assist humans in grading consistently and quickly. For many questions, Gradescope’s AI will be able to learn how to grade all student submissions from a small number of answers graded by the instructor, such that an instructor would only have to grade about ten answers out of a hundred submissions. For known questions, Gradescope’s AI will be able to grade instantly, without any human input.

No real discussion of the economic impacts, except the aspirational freeing of time for instructors to be able to spend more time with students. But there has to be a larger context, where smart machines not only ‘grade’ but assist students in learning what they know least well, based on scores, or otherwise become involved in education not just filling this tiny niche.

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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