The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Virtual Environments

Since my beginnings at CIAT more than ten years ago, I have witnessed the constant evolution of teaching and learning methodologies.

Every day it is more common to hear about artificial intelligence (AI) and we immediately think of the movie: “I robot”, but artificial intelligence goes beyond that, it is present in medicine, banking, social networks, education, apps…

Like everything new, this has generated huge expectations, fears and misgivings; I must accept that I was one of those who was wary; but I started to inform myself, learning a little more about its uses, benefits and of course: disadvantages; so I invite you to learn more about how we can get the most out of it to strengthen our training centers.

In Alfredo Collosa’s post on “Virtual conversational assistants in Tax Administrations: The future is today“, we learned about the benefits of chatbots for taxpayer assistance, but why not use them in training centers? They can be useful to offer support and personalized tutoring to students, solving their doubts, providing additional explanations or guiding them in the resolution of activities. I invite you to visit Socratic, which is a chatbot that uses AI to help students’ learning in math, science and history; or Carnegie Mellon University, which has developed a virtual tutor that helps students to learn math by providing immediate and personalized feedback.

Thanks to data analysis and machine learning systems, AI can identify the strengths, weaknesses, learning pace and style of each student, adapting the content, activities and pace of work to their individual needs. A clear example of this is Duolingo or Khan Academy, which, using AI, create personalized learning plans for each user, recommending exercises and resources based on their progress and level of knowledge.

Opportunity or threat?

AI has the potential to transform training for the better, making it more personalized, effective and accessible. However, there are some challenges that we need to address:

  • Algorithmic biases: It is important that AI systems are designed and used responsibly to avoid biases that may discriminate against certain groups of students.

  • Data privacy: the collection and use of student data should be conducted in accordance with data privacy regulations.

At CIAT, we are starting to use more AI to create more interactive and gamified learning experiences, hence we have been including more resources created in Canva, Genially and Elevenlabs.

Of course, we cannot forget about generative AI such as ChatGPT or Claude or Gemini, which we have used in conjunction with Learning Studio to create the material for certain courses, but not thinking of replacing anyone, since this material created under AI is thoroughly reviewed by the subject matter expert, what we achieve with this interaction is to facilitate and accelerate the process of creation, which went from twelve months to two months.

In my opinion, AI is an opportunity, as it is transforming the training landscape, offering new possibilities to personalize learning, automate tasks, support learners and create more engaging and effective learning experiences. Without a doubt, this technology has the potential to revolutionize education and make it more accessible, inclusive and effective for all our learners.

Disclaimer. Readers are informed that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author's employer, organization, committee or other group the author might be associated with, nor to the Executive Secretariat of CIAT. The author is also responsible for the precision and accuracy of data and sources.

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