The Alloprof Homework Help site has just launched two new functions that make it easier for young users to access the answers they are looking for using artificial intelligence.
In Zone D’Antroid, a teacher-supervised discussion forum where primary and secondary students can ask questions, a first tool analyzes requests and suggests existing content that may satisfy the young person, such as answering similar questions already submitted in the past, or even Explanatory sheets that can be found elsewhere on the site.
“Actual people tend to answer questions, but instead of sometimes waiting up to an hour for an answer, the student has instant access to a first lead, which allows them to continue correcting,” said Mark-Antoin Tangua, spokesman and director at Alloprof.
Another new feature is a text reading tool that will facilitate comprehension with some students having difficulty reading, as they will be able to focus on the material instead of trying to decipher the words. It can also be useful for young children who have just started reading. “The voice stops in the paragraph, not reading directly,” notes Mark-Antoine Tangue. The voice synthesis tool is being set up for specific subjects, such as French and history, but it still needs to be refined for science and math, so that it can read tables, for example.
Two undergraduate projects
The 550,000 students who use Alloprof can not only thank researchers or artificial intelligence experts for this new tool, but also the graduates of the Polytechnic Montreal and the লেcole de Technology Supremacy.
Danny Plurde, a technology transfer and innovation consultant at the Valorization Institute, explains: Montreal, part of an organization that aims to enable industry and society to benefit from the knowledge generated by university research in digital intelligence.
Although the institute often established more extensive partnerships, which could span several years with researchers and graduate students, some of Alloprof’s ideas were precise and quickly possible. “For projects like this, we can contact students at the end of their graduation who are looking to implement industry guidelines. So we put two proposals together with them, and both were accepted by the student body, ”said Danny Plord.
Both the recommendation method and the reading equipment were therefore free by the group of software engineering graduates and were programmed in just four months, in the winter semester that had just ended.
“It’s a real success story, because it’s rare for such artificial intelligence projects to be deployed so quickly,” Danny Plorode notes.
For Alloprof, it’s a godsend. A project such as a recommendation system, for example, requires a total of 1,350 hours of work for three female and two male students. If young graduates had to pay $ 40 per hour, which is realistic in the market, the bill would increase to $ 54,000.
Alloprof will be able to develop new functions at will, since it has acquired all the intellectual property of the work performed. “Students are asked to provide all system documentation, which will enable them to add functionality or modify them,” noted Lewis Therialt, a lecturer at the Polytechnic Montreal who supervised the project.
AI from the phone
The advent of artificial intelligence is just the beginning for Alloprof, says Mark-Antoine Tanguai. “Our service was born 25 years ago around the telephone. We have followed the technological advancement, ”he recalled.
From a simple phone line where children talk live to teachers, the service includes a website that features educational content, chats, games and videos as the web progresses. “We have always wanted to use new technologies and adapt to education. And there we have algorithms and artificial intelligence, “explained an Alloprof spokesperson.
The company has several other projects in the bank where artificial intelligence can be effective. “For example, we have a lot of images on our site, we want to have a tool to identify them by facilitating their discovery and counseling by visually impaired students,” he explained.
One thing is for sure, Alloprof wants to repeat the partnership with the university community to achieve this. “It simply came to our notice then. We are a charity, and it allows us to do real free research and development for free, “said Mark-Antoine Tangue.