“Human plus machine isn’t the future, it’s the present,” Garry Kasparov said in a recent TED talk. And this “present” is transforming the world of education at a rapid pace. With children increasingly using tablets and coding becoming part of national curricula around the world, technology is becoming an integral part of classrooms, just like chalk and blackboards.

SwissCognitiveWe have already witnessed the rise and impact of education technology especially through a multitude of adaptive learning platforms such as Khan Academy and Coursera that allow learners to strengthen their skills and knowledge. And now virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are gaining traction. A recent report by Pearson deciphers how artificial intelligence will positively transform education in the coming years. Per the report’s authors, “The future offers the potential of even greater tools and supports. Imagine lifelong learning companions powered by AI that can accompany and support individual learners throughout their studies – in and beyond school – or new forms of assessment that measure learning while it is taking place, shaping the learning experience in real time.”

Virtual Reality is knocking at the class room door

Indeed, high costs remain a challenge but the day is not far when AI and VR tools will be as accessible as smartphones and desktop computers.Intelligent machines are playing a major role in delivering customized relevant knowledge to learners, where and when needed. For instance, Content Technologies Inc., a U.S.-based artificial intelligence research and development company is leveraging deep learning to deliver customized books. The company launched Cram101 and JustFact101 to turn decades-old textbooks into smart and relevant learning guides, making study time efficient. Moreover, learning is now turning into a truly immersive experience inside and outside the classroom.

Taking a stroll with dinosaurs

And as an educator, I believe the same strategy has the power to spur creativity, engagement and stronger learning outcomes among my students. But for decades, experiential learning was confined to science experiments in the school’s archaic laboratory or to summer holiday assignments. But with VR and AI, experiential or hands-on learning has an all new meaning. Imagine a room full of students exploring the wreck of the Titanic, watching dinosaurs walk around them, discovering the Amazon or simply landing on the moon as astronauts — what a giant leap in education?! […]