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The Transformative Role of AI in Education

March 11, 2024
min read

Artificial intelligence is upending several industries, and education is one of them. Education, in particular, is one of those sectors where AI can make a significant impact.

The use of AI in education ensures that every learner receives a personalized and engaging learning experience. 

This article explores the benefits and risks of AI in higher education. It also argues why AI cannot replace human educators.

Towards the end of this article, you will discover why the future of education technology is the perfect synergy of human tutors and artificial intelligence as their trusted aid!

The Current Landscape of Education

As with any industry, the current landscape of education is evolving with the changing needs of technology, economy, and society. 

These are the key trends shaping the education landscape in the last few years:

  • Online learning wasn't a new thing before 2020. However, the pandemic expedited the adoption of the blended learning model, a combination of in-person and online instruction.
  • The demand for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills is on the rise, with plenty of innovations and job opportunities flourishing in these fields.
  • The EdTech technology has led to personalized learning plans, virtual classrooms, and adaptive learning systems. 
  • With AI automating repetitive tasks, there’s a growing demand for soft skills like emotional intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking. 
  • Education has evolved to be a lifelong process. People need to constantly reskill and upskill themselves in response to changing job markets and technology. 
  • Education has also become diverse and inclusive. There’s a greater emphasis on equitable access to education, irrespective of students' abilities and backgrounds. 

In response to these changes, institutions, educators, and learners must adapt themselves to stay relevant and prepare for the opportunities offered by the 21st century.

AI Applications in Education 

As AI becomes more advanced, it can completely transform how educators teach and how students learn. Educational Institutes worldwide must consider implementing AI applications to achieve enhanced learning outcomes for every student.

Let's take a look at the following applications of AI in education:

1. Personalized Learning Paths 

The biggest problem with traditional learning? 

The pace with which the curriculum moves is not designed to meet the individual needs of each student.

Incorporating AI in education helps generate a personalized learning path for each student, taking into account their prior knowledge, interests, and goals. It ensures enhanced learning outcomes for every participant. 

2. Intelligent Tutoring Systems 

Ever heard of AI-powered tutoring systems?

Intelligent tutoring systems are designed to discover areas of difficulty being faced by each learner and offer feedback, targeted explanations, as well as practice exercises for improvement. 

AI-driven tutoring systems are also capable of tracking each learner's progress and adjusting the course material accordingly. However, intelligent tutoring systems aren't meant to be substitutes for human teachers. 

They are meant to offer objective and consistent feedback that helps teachers tailor their instruction accordingly. 

3. Automated Grading and Feedback 

Another application of AI in education is automated grading and feedback.

AI-enabled grading and feedback software uses machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) to assess student assignments and offer feedback.

Such systems can grade various assignments, including programming tasks, quizzes, essays, as well as creative projects. They offer feedback in the form of suggestions, hints, comments, scores, and detailed explanations.

Using automatic grading and feedback systems has enormous benefits for teachers. They don't have to spend days or weeks manually grading each assignment. Instead, they can spend quality time engaging with the students.

Moreover, students can get personalized and immediate feedback on their work. It also minimizes the possibility of bias and errors on the teachers’ part. 

Coursera, for example, uses artificial intelligence to grade assignments and quizzes. Turnitin is another example of software that utilizes AI to offer feedback on originality, grammar, and writing quality.

4. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Education

Augmented and virtual reality in education are used to provide immersive learning experiences to students. 

For example, a popular course offered by Harvard University called CS50 (Computer Science 50) is also offered in VR, where students put on their VR headsets and feel as if they are sitting in the lecture hall with their fellow coursemates.

Surgeons also use AR and VR technology to learn challenging surgical techniques without performing on real patients.

Benefits of AI in Education 

According to Market Research Future, the AI education market is expected to surpass 20 billion dollars by 2030, and for good reasons.

AI education market to cross 20 billion dollars by 2030
Image Source

Some of the most lucrative benefits of AI in education include personalized learning and improved learning outcomes.

Let's take a detailed look at some of those benefits:

1. Enhanced Personalization

As mentioned earlier, the pace of learning is different for every student. Some learn quickly, while others need time. Traditional education just does not include the concept of personalized learning.

This is where AI in education fills the gap. The use of artificial intelligence ensures that the course material and the pace with which it progresses is customized for every learner.

Not just that, AI also makes learning fun and interactive, thanks to the use of gamification, AR, and VR.

2. Improved Learning Outcomes 

AI-driven learning systems are capable of gathering and evaluating data on student progress, learning styles, and performance.

This helps them modify the course content as well as the delivery method based on each student's pace of learning, preferences, and needs. 

Since each student can learn and retain information more effectively, AI in education leads to improved learning outcomes.

3. Accessibility and Inclusivity 

The use of artificial intelligence in education opens doors to hearing and visually impaired people as well.

For example, Presentation Translator, an AI-powered tool by Microsoft, generates real-time subtitles for PowerPoint presentations and supports 60+ languages. It's a boon for people who are hearing impaired.

Similarly, AI speech recognition technology can help visually impaired learners hear in their native language.

4. Time and Resource Efficiency 

Automated grading and feedback systems like Gradoscope help educators save time on grading assignments and minimize the possibility of bias and errors. 

Another great use of AI in education is smarter timetable management. Its real-time scheduling ability eliminates the risk of scheduling conflicts and the unavailability of teachers.

Not to mention, it saves time and resources on having to create timetables manually.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations 

With the incredible advantages of AI in education also come various challenges and ethical considerations. In traditional education, student privacy and security were never a cause for concern or discussion. 

But with the increasing use of digital learning platforms, data privacy and ethical use of artificial intelligence is the need of the hour. Listed below are some of the major challenges and possible solutions to address them: 

1. Data Privacy Concerns 

To be able to do what it does, AI collects and processes large volumes of sensitive data, such as academic performance, health information, biometrics, emotions, preferences, and behavior. This imposes privacy and data protection risks.

If fallen into the wrong hands, this data can be used for profiling and surveillance purposes. To address data privacy concerns, AI-driven learning systems must employ rigorous privacy policies, adhere to data protection rules, and request user consent before collecting and processing their data.

Moreover, there's a need to educate both students and teachers on their data privacy rights and the best security practices. This helps them make informed decisions while using any AI-powered education platform and avoid falling victim to potential hazards. 

2. Equity Issues 

Equity in education
Image Source

There are two sides to every coin, isn't it? 

While AI has the potential to promote inclusivity, it can also exacerbate existing inequalities without proper governance. Biases in AI algorithms may propagate discrimination that locks disabled, minorities, and women out of opportunities.

Without a major course correction, this dystopian future can become a reality. Thankfully, governments and authorities around the world have started to take notice.

For instance, in November 2021, UNESCO released the 'Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence' aimed at overseeing the ethical and responsible design, deployment, and impact of AI in education.

3. Resistance to Change in Education 

Because of the reasons above, educational institutes may resist the use of artificial intelligence.

To overcome this resistance, governments and educational institutes must invest in awareness programs that educate students and teachers on the benefits of AI in education as well as dispel misconceptions.

To address ethical concerns, organizations must implement frameworks and guidelines to ensure transparency in the development and deployment of AI. Addressing technical challenges is also vital in combating resistance to change. 

This can be accomplished by using reliable EdTech AI Systems and ensuring safe data integration. 

The Human Touch in AI-Empowered Education

One sector that would always require human involvement and cannot be completely run by AI is education. The goal of AI in education isn't to replace human instructors but to promote human-centric AI education.

Here's how:

1. Balancing Technology and Human Interaction

AI has the power to deliver personalized, top-notch educational content to learners anytime, anywhere. However, education is a continuous process that requires human tutors/experts to govern. 

While AI can provide the best content by analyzing the students' learning patterns, areas of difficulty, and learning styles, it cannot solve a child's problems. For example, AI cannot help a child who is underconfident. 

He or she needs a human tutor to motivate them. Another example is that of a child suffering from dyslexia. AI cannot identify or solve the problems faced by such children. This is why human intervention is paramount in education.

Human educators play an inevitable role to motivate and inspire students from all walks of life to achieve their goals. 

2. Educators as Facilitators of Learning 

Despite the numerous benefits of AI in education, it cannot replace teachers as facilitators of learning.

While AI-powered education systems may assist in assessment, real-time feedback, and tutoring, teachers can play the role of motivators and mentors. 

They can offer deeper engagement, interpretation, and guidance to each learner. Educators can ensure an enriching and holistic learning experience. They provide motivational support, empathy, and compassion that AI cannot emulate. 

3. Fostering Critical Thinking and Creativity 

Artificial intelligence cannot impart social-emotional skills or bring human connection the way teachers can. Educators can foster critical thinking and creativity, which AI cannot replicate.

Only teachers have the power to establish classroom rules and regulations. For example, they can set a no-internet rule from time to time and encourage students to use their critical thinking skills and creativity to solve problems. 

4. Empowering Educators with AI 

To maximize the benefits of AI for all stakeholders, technology should be used as a tool to empower educators in delivering enhanced learning outcomes.

AI offers crucial insights about each student's learning style, and teachers can use this information to adapt their instruction.

Let's take another example. The combination of AI-powered chatbots, VR, and AR can offer an engaging and immersive learning experience. However, it's the tutors that steer the application of technology.

They ensure that AI education systems align with student needs and educational goals. This way, learners get the best of both worlds and realize their full potential. 

Future Possibilities 

As AI automates mundane processes, teachers can focus on creating an engaging and supportive environment for students. This way, AI in education will continue to enhance, not substitute, human elements. 

While AI becomes more adept at automating administrative duties and performing data analysis, teachers can prioritize direct student interactions and attend to their individual needs.

In the realm of education, AI will play a vital role in humanizing the learning experience. However, those who do not learn to leverage AI to complement human teaching can and will be replaced. Educators need to be prepared for human-centric AI education. 

That involves familiarizing themselves with the limitations and capabilities of AI and integrating tools that complement the human teaching experience.


AI in education is not meant to replace teachers. Consider it a trusted sidekick that can help learners achieve their full potential.

After all, no student should face academic difficulties just because the way they are taught doesn't match their learning style and pace. Thanks to artificial intelligence, each learner gets the best education, irrespective of their baseline abilities.

While AI plays a crucial role in offering tailored resources, identifying learning gaps, and providing customized learning experiences, teachers instill important social skills and offer a nurturing learning environment.

This symbiotic relationship makes education impactful, efficient, and personalized. 

Check out MarkovML's EdTech AI solution to revolutionize student management!

MarkovML is a data-centric AI platform that helps you design AI-powered workflows and unlock actionable data insights. 

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