Founder of Squirrel AI Learning by Yixue Group Derek Haoyang Li attends Harvard China Education Symposium, interpreting the new trend of AI+ Education

Published : Thursday, May 9, 2019, 6:39 pm
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The well-known international academic education summit "Harvard China Education Symposium" was rounded off in Cambridge, MA, USA, on April 14th. With the strength of the leading position in "AI+ Education" field, Derek Haoyang Li, founder of Squirrel AI Learning, was invited to the summit, where he talked about the challenges and problems faced by the education industry and the development trend of the industry with other education tech elites from all over the world, including Shing-Tung Yau, a professor/mathematician at the Harvard University; David Chang, former Chancellor of the CUNY's City College of Technology; Zhang Rong, President of the Xiamen University; Yu Lizhong, President of the NYU Shanghai; and Yu-Kwong Kwok, Assistant to the President of the University of Hong Kong.

Founded in 2010, the Harvard China Education Symposium is a student organization affiliated to the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and aims to connect and help education practitioners, scholars, policy makers and people from all walks of life, promote discussions related to education in China and support education practices. At present, the symposium has more than a thousand members at home and abroad, and carries out regular activities through both online and offline platforms. Many leading education figures in domestic and overseas educational fields have attended this grand event.

One of the biggest problems in traditional education is the lack of high-quality teachers. However, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology can enable new generation teachers to teach students more effectively. Therefore, in the past two years, adaptive learning, educational robotics and AI teachers have become hot words in the educational industry, and an increasing number of education providers have started exploring AI application scenarios.

As China's leading AI+ education provider, Squirrel AI Learning is committed to revolutionizing the traditional teaching model. At the 2019 Harvard China Education Symposium, Derek Li gave a masterly speech, sharing with the other participants the Squirrel AI Learning system's deep exploration achievements in AI algorithms, content recommendation, data analysis and teaching methods.

According to Derek Li, from the perspective of educational theory, a teaching activity should be a process of interaction between a teacher and students. However, in the currently popular macro-teaching mode, a teacher doesn't teach knowledge based on every student's cognitive level, but on "most students' average comprehending capacity". If things go on like this, a knowledge communication disorder will arise between the teacher and students. Squirrel AI Learning has developed an AI algorithm for content recommendation, built a nanoscale knowledge map, and set up an MCM system that can fast detect learners' learning ability and quality, enabling "teaching content" to be combined organically with "students' knowledge level".

"Compared with the traditional education model, Squirrel AI Learning is equipped with the latest AI algorithm engine, which allows every student to have an AI super teacher so that they can study more effectively and attractively, so as to make the ideal teaching pattern of 'teaching students in accordance with their aptitude' a reality."

First, in the Squirrel AI Learning system, the AI, big data technology and teaching process are not combined together superficially, but thoroughly on all aspects from teaching to learning, testing and exercise.

On one hand, Squirrel AI Learning began to recruit students in 2015 and collected first-hand learning data from the students. Then it started using the AI algorithm, big data analysis and other related technologies to draw a knowledge portrait for every student. With the help of such a mode of autonomous control and full participation, Squirrel AI Learning can timely master every student's dynamic learning status and remedy every student's knowledge loophole individually to help them build a personalized learning path.

On the other hand, on the basis of establishing a self-developed AI algorithm and building a self-owned database, Squirrel AI Learning has made it possible to "split a knowledge point on a super-nanoscale". "Taking the junior high school mathematics as an example, more than 300 knowledge points can be split into 30,000 knowledge points". As a knowledge point is being split into more and more sub-points, Squirrel AI Learning is able to identify students' learning process clearer and therefore provide them with specific sub-points. Moreover, since it has enabled the use of its self-advanced theory of "association probability of non-associated knowledge points", Squirrel AI Learning can accurately detect students' mastery degree of knowledge points with the fewest problems within the shortest time, thus greatly improving the teaching effectiveness.

Second, Squirrel AI Learning has spent huge amounts of money hiring talents such as Richard Tong, Dr. Cui Wei and Dr. Dan Bindman from the world's three major AI adaptive education providers Knewton, RealizeIT and ALEKS, forming the top R&D team. At the global AI+ adaptive education summit AIAED held in November 2018, Prof. Tom Mitchell, the global luminary on machine learning, Dean of School of Computer Science (CMU), Carnegie Mellon University, a fellow at the National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), announced his acceptance of the invitation from Squirrel AI Learning to serve as the Chief AI Officer. In addition to the top team of core scientists, Squirrel AI Learning has called together a group of Chinese expert teachers, senior teachers and question setting teachers, innovating teaching contents based on Mainland China's educational curriculum, teaching contents, test contents, consumer psychology and social national conditions.

In addition, Squirrel AI Learning has set up an MCM system, which can further detect students' model of thinking, learning capacity and learning method, to help them master a learning method and develop learning ability at a deeper level. After assessment and detection, the MCM system can even detect if the learners that have scored the same points, have different learning capacities, learning speeds, blind spots and weak points, thus accurately drawing a portrait for every learner. 

"Squirrel AI Learning can build a relatively smooth interaction channel between students and an AI teacher to help students quickly develop learning interests and confidence so that they could acquire knowledge ten times as much as what they could acquire before, to have their 'learning efficiency' improved by times, and to make personalized teaching a reality."

Reportedly, since the first offline learning center was founded in March 2016, Squirrel AI Learning has set up more than 1,800 offline learning centers in over 300 cities in over 20 provinces and has nearly 2 million students. Its compounded annual growth rate has reached up to 500% for the past three years. 

Derek Li pointed out during the dinner that big data and AI will bring a revolutionary change in education, including students' knowledge learning and learning ability improvement, teachers' teaching methods and teaching management, teaching evaluation system and every other aspect. In China, increasingly developed after-school tutoring, online education and all other types of education would be presented in the form of educational data. By collecting and analyzing students' learning data and drawing an individual dynamic portrait for them, Squirrel AI Learning could constantly enhance its predictive capacity as well as ability to learn and feedback content effects, thus greatly subverting the traditional educational mode.

The founder of Squirrel AI Learning Derek Haoyang Li is giving a speech at the dinner
The founder of Squirrel AI Learning Derek Haoyang Li is giving a speech at the dinner

"For the various inequities and defects brought about by the traditional school education and instructional guidance, the AI adaptive education may lead to an 'educational fairness movement'".

"Today, as personalized education is brought attention to more and more people, the AI adaptive system shows more obvious technical advantages on the basis of big data analysis. Squirrel AI Learning can make the educational process transparent and digitalized. What knowledge points does a child fail to master? What is taught in class, and how it is taught? How much is the child's ability enhanced in the learning process, and does he solve every problem faster or slower than others? All is incomparably clear.

On the strength of its successful implementation of technological innovation, product application and business development, Squirrel AI Learning won high attention and acclaim from the participants. Seeing its application of AI and big data technology as well as deep understanding of educational content and processes, many guests present expressed their expectation that Squirrel AI Learning would achieve greater growth and make more innovations in the future.

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