China-Based Education Tech Firm Launches AI Teaching Assistant

“At its core, it’s essentially a teacher-focused AI assistant along the lines of Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s Bixby, responding to end users through speech recognition. But it can also generate virtual avatars to interact with students…”

A China-based company called NetDragon has launched what is says is the world’s first AI teaching assistant. Called 101 Education PPT AI Teaching Assistant, the AI system was launched at the Digital China Summit as part of the Digital Maritime Silk Road AI Educational Achievements program.

The solution is designed to operate via a whiteboard screen in collaboration with a human teacher. At its core, it’s essentially a teacher-focused AI assistant along the lines of Apple’s Siri or Samsung’s Bixby, responding to end users through speech recognition. But it can also generate virtual avatars to interact with students, and it features facial recognition to detect which students are in attendance for a given session. On top of that, NetDragon says its system can mark grades and arrange custom exercises for individual students.

The solution is aimed at classroom settings from kindergarten to vocational schools, and NetDragon says it is working with educational content producers including Pearson Education, Oxford University Press, Disney, and Tokyo Shoseki.

NetDragon isn’t the first company to leverage sophisticated AI technology for classroom learning. Lenovo, for example, launched a virtual classroom platform last year that uses face biometrics to evaluate student responses to lectures. But by adapting the AI assistant model from the mobile world into a sophisticated virtual helper for the classroom, NetDragon does appear to be at the cutting edge of education technology. The company says it plans to launch its new solution in China this June.