Bringing AI into the Classroom

AI is making its way into all sectors, and Sreejit Chakrabarty, Director of Robotics & Artificial Intelligence at GEMS Dubai American Academy tells us how education can benefit.

Sreejit Headshot New WebAs the Director of Robotics and Artificial intelligence at GEMS Dubai American Academy (DAA), Sreejit Chakrabarty is often approached by conference producers and companies to share his views on how AI is/will be used in the K-12 ecosystem.

Among these companies, Silicon Valley AI startup, Roboterra, approached him to be a speaker for the world’s biggest conference on AI for Education — Curiosity 2019. The topic for his talk was “The School of the Future” which is apt given that Roboterra has also invited DAA to Pilot the world’s first Artificial Intelligence Robotics Kit.

“AI is in its nascent stage, and educators are now realising that this is the ideal time for them to integrate AI and other emerging technologies into the curriculum. They must ensure that the current and next generation of students develop the skills required to tackle the AI implosion that we are witnessing in every field, be it medicine, arts, technology, engineering, food, retail, and banking,” said Sreejit.

Encouraging students to think of new applications of technology will allow for a real change in education. Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, humanoid robotics, big data, and blockchain are exponential concepts which need to be integrated with the everyday learning of the modern student. “As educators, it is imperative to equip ourselves with these shifts in traditional practices. The flipped classroom, studentled lessons, personalised assessment and maker approach to learning are just a few of the many tools that can have a massive impact in shaping this education revolution which is taking place now,” he said.

Sreejit added that as we move into a world dominated by technology, homes filled with the internet of things, cars driving autonomously and drones delivering coffee, a truly global lifestyle is fast becoming a reality, and students need to be prepared. As educators, it is imperative to prepare and equip these modern learners for the world that awaits them.

The conference wasn’t only a series of panel discussions but included startup pitch session to investors and seed fund companies from the Bay Area. “I got the inside scoop into what investors are looking for in a business pitch. This will help us at DAA to guide our young inventors and innovators to create a pitch that will attract investment,” he added. He said some CEOs of AI companies are willing for DAA students to interact with current AI professionals and work alongside them on current projects as part of an internship or mentorship.

Most of the Silicon Valley incubators and investment firms tend to shy away from investing in ed-tech companies, because

  • Ed-tech companies focus more on the tech and less on the ‘ed’.
  • Lack of teacher and student feedback makes gauging the sales potential of the solution difficult.
  • A lack of basic sales knowledge.
  • Entrepreneurs not being open to criticism.
  • Over-ambitious valuation.

What an investor would like to see:

  • Beta testing done.
  • A letter of intent.
  • An understanding of the customer and their needs.
  • A strong logistics and distribution network.
  • Being open to change.