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An NSF Grant Establishes a Center to Develop AI Techniques for STEM Adult Learning

IBL News
August 04, 2021

IBL News | New York

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced an investment of $20 million to leverage AI (Artificial Intelligence) to transform adult learning in STEM.

It will be a collaborative effort led by the Georgia Research Alliance. The initiative will gather experts in computer science, AI, cognitive science, learning science, and education from Arizona State University, Boeing, Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Harvard University, IBM, IMS Global, Technical College System of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wiley.

The NSF grant will establish the NSF AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education (ALOE) to be headquartered at Georgia Tech, one of 11 NSF AI research institutes. Accenture joined NSF as a funding partner of ALOE.

The ALOE Institute will develop new AI theories and techniques, along with new, effective models of online lifelong learning.

The organization will evaluate the effectiveness of techniques and models at Georgia Tech, Georgia State, multiple colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), as well as with corporate partners IBM, Boeing, and Wiley.

“ALOE will develop new types of trainable virtual assistants, novel AI techniques to personalize learning at an unprecedented scale, and AI systems to support both learners and teachers,” disclosed Co-PI Ashok Goel, Professor of Computer Science and Human-Centered Computing and the Chief Scientist with the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech, who will be Executive Director of the ALOE Institute.

According to Goel, ALOE will make fundamental advances in personalization at scale, machine teaching, mutual theory of mind, and responsible AI. Using virtual assistants to make it more affordable and achievable will be an important point as well.

“Serious questions remain about the quality of online learning and how best to teach adults online. Artificial intelligence offers a powerful technology for dramatically improving the quality of online learning and adult education,” said project’s Principal Investigator Myk Garn, a GRA Senior Advisor and Assistant Vice Chancellor for New Models of Learning at the University System of Georgia.

NSF investing $20 million in Georgia-led effort to transform online education for adults
New $20 million center to bring artificial intelligence into the classroom