Generative AI meets EdTech- Speak.com 🗣️🈲💬
There is a big revolution coming in Education, and it's not a pandemic! Speak.com is an ex. of personalized, affordable, and engaging learning at scale. Lets see how Generative AI is changing EdTech!
Welcome to Old Rope. I write on emerging trends from the East [sometimes West]! 🌏 Subscribe to stay updated.
Digital learning has become an integral part of our lives, and it's one positive outcome of the pandemic. My mother, who completed an online 'Yoga Teaching' course, now delivers virtual yoga classes to her students in India. Surprisingly, most of them are over 50 years old, and if you had asked them about taking an online class in 2019, they would have scoffed at the idea.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital learning market has been growing at an impressive 16% CAGR, as compared to 13% before the pandemic. It is projected to surpass a staggering $400 billion within the next two years [According to HolonIQ].
In fact this growth was projected pre-generative AI era 😉
Adaptive Learning could be new mainstream in Education 🎓
Most of us would agree that every student is unique and should have a personalised learning path. Assessments play an important role in measuring students progress and understanding, and provide targeted support to help students succeed. A teacher is able to provide that support to the students- as they understand the strengths and weaknesses of every student.
Adaptive learning is a technology first educational method to personalise the learning experience of each individual based on their learning needs and abilities. It uses algorithms to analyse a student's performance data, such as quiz scores and time spent on each activity, to adjust the content and pacing of the curriculum. As you reduce the reliance on a human teacher, the potential increases!
Generative AI, the latest trending topic in tech, has the potential to revolutionize education by providing personalized learning to the masses! By leveraging machine learning algorithms and neural networks, generative AI can analyze existing datasets and create new content based on the patterns it detects. And when combined with adaptive learning, the possibilities are endless: imagine an AI tutor that can create custom-tailored lessons based on each student's unique learning style and pace.
Case for AI Tutor🤖
Availability of Educators! 👩🏫
According to UNESCO, there were approximately 1.5 billion students (pre-primary to tertiary education) worldwide in 2020, which is roughly 20% of the world's population. At the same time, there were around 69 million educators in 2020, resulting in an average of 22 students per educator. However, this data would vary significantly depending on the geography, educational streams, and systems.
AI Tutor presents an exciting opportunity, especially for emerging economies like India where the availability of quality educators is low.
Important to note: In emerging economies, parents and students prefer personal tutors because the cost of hiring one is really low, typically around $5-10 per hour. However, this option is only available to the top of the pyramid and not affordable for the masses. Additionally, the technology currently in place has not been able to provide personalization at a mass scale. I believe that the use case of an AI tutor can expand to emerging markets as the quality and consumer appeal of the technology improves.
Affordability in Developed Markets📚
In developed markets, the cost of hiring a tutor is often high. For instance, hiring a native English speaker in the US for language learning costs at least $20 per hour, if not more. This high cost may be unaffordable for some learners, who may have to look for alternative learning platforms that may not be as effective as a personal tutor.
Quality & accuracy at scale with 24X7 Support 💯
‘To err is human’
It's not fair to expect a teacher to always be right, and given the expansive universe, it's not possible to know everything, even when you are an educator of a particular subject. Moreover, human teachers have constraints on availability, location, time zone, and more.
An AI tutor can provide standardisation at scale with on-demand support!
I recorded the video above to showcase ChatGPT’s ability for doubt solving!
Speak.com- A new way to learn languages 🗣️🌎
Founded in 2017, Speak.com is an AI-first language learning platform that allows students to learn languages without a real tutor, with a focus on conversational English. While there are many language learning apps available, we will explore what sets Speak apart.
Language Learning Market🀄
️The language learning market is expected to grow significantly, largely due to the increasing penetration of digital learning. It is expected to grow 5 times between 2020 and 2025.
Many people are motivated to learn a variety of languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese, for various reasons such as travel, work, family, or personal interest. However, English is the most commonly learned second language, with an estimated 1.4 billion learners worldwide. English is included in the mandatory national education curriculum in over 75% countries, resulting in increased demand for English learning. By 2025, English learning in digital format is expected to reach $43B! [Source: HolonIQ]
Formats available for Language Learning! 📱
There are many digital learning formats available, but here are the few common ones:
Video Based Learning 💿
Recording content provides a popular way of learning, which is dominated by MOOCs. These are generally self-paced courses that are recorded with high-quality instructors, and can be accessed by many at reasonable prices. However, the element of personalization is often missing, as the course and assessment are typically the same for all students enrolled in the course.
Live Learning 💻
One could virtually sit across from a teacher, either in a one-on-one or one-to-many setting. One-on-one or one-to-few arrangements work well because classes can be personalized based on the student's capabilities, but they tend to be expensive. For one-to-many settings, personalization is missing due to the large batch size.
Product First 📱
Products like Duolingo have enabled a gamified learning experience that allows students to learn interactively and enjoyably on demand. While the experience is relatively personalized thanks to AI and technology, it falls short of a live learning experience because the doubt-solving element is missing. It's worth noting, however, that it's definitely the most affordable solution available
Speak.com’s Product Offering! 💼
With a focus on speaking, Speak aims to help its users become fluent and confident in English.
The app assigns you a course to begin with based on a simple Q&A
This is a multi-format course that includes video lessons with built-in assessments. These assessments require the user to complete a short speaking assignment. As the lesson progresses, users can do additional exercises to build their vocabulary and chat with an AI tutor in a roleplay scenario.
So…here’s the coolest thing about Speak.com- the AI Tutor.
Here’s the video of the AI Tutor:
I tried challenging the AI Tutor towards the end of the conversation but it handled it well!
OpenAI x Speak.com 🤖
Speak.com recently announced a financing round of $27M from OpenAI, marking the beginning of an intimate partnership between the two companies.
With the AI tutor, Speak takes the ChatGPT experience to a whole new level with its flawless speech recognition technology.
By utilizing the Whisper Model developed by OpenAI, Speak is able to achieve speech recognition with improved accuracy. Here’s how
In addition, Speak's AI Tutor uses GPT-4 to converse with users and provide constant feedback on their English skills, including vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.. Here’s how
I can't help but wish I had access to this platform back in 2019 when I was learning Mandarin the old-fashioned way - with flashcards on Quizlet, practicing with friends, and paying as much as $20 per hour for private tuition. I hope they launch a Mandarin course soon, as I know my Mandarin skills have deteriorated from lack of practice.
This technology is currently audio-based, but there's a high likelihood that soon it will be a "metahuman" mimicking a real tutor on a live class, powered by Generative AI. Imagine sitting in a one-on-one live video class, with all your doubts solved in real-time by an AI tutor that looks and speaks like a human!
The development of AI Tutoring has been a challenge for EdTech startups worldwide, as they were restricted by the limited amount of data available for training. However, this issue is now being addressed at an accelerated pace, and the AI Tutoring industry is rapidly expanding!
Industry leaders are already adopting! 👑
Duolingo has recently introduced a new product called Duolingo MAX, which utilizes the power of GPT-4 to enhance language learning. The product comes with two new exciting features - Explain My Answer and Roleplay. The Explain My Answer feature enables the user to gain a deeper understanding of their response to a particular question, while the Roleplay feature, which is similar to Speak.com's Roleplay function, helps users practice their conversational skills. Source
Khan Academy has taken a major leap forward in the EdTech space by harnessing the power of GPT-4 to create an innovative AI tutoring interface called Khanmigo, as well as an AI assistant for tachers. Khanmigo serves as a powerful tool for students to better understand complex concepts and to get their doubts clarified. The AI assistant for teachers helps them in developing dynamic lesson plans and engaging hooks. Source
Final thoughts! 📝
Speak.com has a massive opportunity- as it is consumerizing the technology to efficiently learn languages. It’s great to see the company going deeper into markets like Korea and Japan- and solving the problem market by market. With the rapid pace of tech advancement, it will be critical for Speak.com to swiftly expand into new regions, while addressing the challenges of diverse accents and introducing new languages, in order to fully capitalize on the potential of its technology.
Previously, it appeared that the COVID pandemic was the turning point for EdTech, but it seems that the true inflection point is happening now. EdTech companies must adapt and make use of this technology in order to remain competitive and provide better learning experiences for students. With Generative AI, doubt solving and personalised learning will never be the same and schools and institutes must embrace this technology to maximize its potential.
Generative AI, has the potential to significantly impact the field of education. Educators can create personalised and adaptive learning experiences for students, allowing them to learn at their own pace and in their preferred style. Additionally, it can help address issues of access and affordability by providing low-cost or free educational materials that can be customised to meet the needs of individual learners. Overall, generative AI has the potential to revolutionise education and make learning more accessible and effective for students of all backgrounds.
I would love to hear from you, if you are building at the intersection of AI and education- please shoot me an email: email@example.com. You may use ChatGPT to write the email copy! 👀