As a lifelong Trekkie (Star Trek fan, for the uninitiated) I have long been interested in everything sci-fi - including Artificial Intelligence - especially now that AI has dropped the 'fiction' part and is something of a scientific reality. Lieutenant Commander Data was always a favourite character of mine in the Star Trek Enterprise series. He's an artificial lifeform; an android who wants to be a human.
In computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. (Wikipedia)
But at Studiosity, we look at the acronym AI with a dual lens: it also reminds us that we’re “Always Improving”.
We all benefit from the right level of AI in our lives, whether it is a quick spell check before sending an email, using Siri or Alexa as an assistant, or indeed a smart watch that reminds you to get up and move after being sat at your desk too long.
That's why we recently joined forces with CSIRO’s Data61, to explore how we can further pursue a truly exceptional student experience, through combining human assistance with artificial intelligence.
At Studiosity we will always be a very human service, providing the best possible high quality study help and feedback to students. Our aim is to make each human interaction more meaningful for the student and the specialist, utilising AI to enhance the experience for both.
"Increasing life chances through on-demand study support. This is the mission of Studiosity on its 5 year partnership with Data61 to explore new AI opportunities, seek out solutions, to boldly go where no other online study support solution has gone before." 1
- Denise Stewart, GM Operations, Studiosity
This partnership with Data61 will see Studiosity invest over $1 million during the initial period in new research and projects, to deliver world-first capability that amplifies our sophisticated and rigorous human support with Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on natural language processing and deep learning.
Potential projects being explored include ‘readability’ scores for students’ writing drafts, ‘learning gain’ scores that measure progression, mental health early warning identification measures, and referencing and academic honesty support. As a result, we expect students’ continuing study-help interactions with real, human staff from Studiosity to become even more relevant, personalised and timely support interventions.
Beyond just the Studiosity service offering, the capabilities offered by this partnership and its results could extend out to have positive impact across the sector.
"Imagine knowing the top 50 problems that Engineering students have in their writing and study, and anticipating that. Alternatively, what are the mental health challenges faced by nursing students, nationally or at a faculty level? At an institutional level, can a language tool pick up on known patterns in word choice to detect and act on anxiety, for example? Crucially for the sector, this impending combination of AI and personal, real-life study help will also contribute to the current efforts to promote academic honesty with early detection and support."
- Prof Judyth Sachs, Chief Academic Officer and Academic Advisory Board Member, Studiosity
Dr Cecile Paris, Data61’s Chief Data Scientist, says, “There is a clear need to continually improve university student wellbeing - both for students as well as in the national economic and social interest. Natural language processing offers increasingly valuable insights where there is the available scale and potential to move the needle on societal change.”
We are incredibly excited about the partnership and the improvements it will bring for our students for years to come, to progress AI in education, and to amplify Studiosity's rigorous human support with AI. Our mission is to increase life chances, so we can all “live long and prosper”!
Denise Stewart is GM Operations at Studiosity.
She is about to become a proud pup parent to this guy:
1Paraphrased from the opening lines to the original Star Trek show.