Education is one of the domains where artificial intelligence is showing great promise. But while most efforts have focused on augmenting and enhancing the learning experience, challenges remain in the registration and enrollment domains. Students and learners often struggle to find their way to the right courses and classes, whether because of the confusing variety of courses available on online platforms or the complicated processes for enrolling at higher education institutions.
A handful of startups are poised to solve these challenges through AI tools that provide personalized assistance to students during the registration process. So far, their efforts show positive results.
Helping students find the right opportunities
Online learning hub Udacity made its debut in 2012 when Stanford professors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig decided to make their course “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” available online.
The platform has since grown to offer dozens of courses and nanodegree programs in various computer science fields. The expansion has helped Udacity serve an increasing number of people. More than 160,000 students worldwide enroll for online courses on Udacity every year. However, the expansion of courses has also introduced new challenges.
New and returning students have to navigate the platform’s vast catalog of courses to find the right fit for their skills and experience. Without consultation and assistance, the process can be challenging and result in course abandonment and lower enrollment rates. Meanwhile, providing personalized counseling to thousands of users requires human resources that would go beyond the company’s capacity and budget.
To meet this challenge, Udacity recently teamed up with Passage AI, a startup that specializes in conversational interfaces. The result of the partnership was an AI-powered chatbot that helps students visiting Udacity’s website to find appropriate courses and enroll with ease.
“Our students are looking for guidance and quick responses to questions while browsing our course list,” says Sam Mazaheri, director of digital marketing at Udacity. “It is important for them to find classes that fit their needs and experience level. A chatbot can provide immediate responses to common questions, giving prospective students confidence that they’re enrolling in the right program at Udacity.”
Passage AI’s chatbot uses natural language processing (NLP), a branch of artificial intelligence that enables software to analyze and respond to the meaning behind human-generated text. NLP helps chatbots move…
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