Aida Calculus App Helps Students Overcome Major Barrier to STEM Careers
LONDON, UK (November 12, 2019) – Pearson, the world's learning company, today announced the launch of Aida Calculus, the first AI-powered tutoring app, designed to help students tackle one of the most difficult and frustrating math disciplines. At least one semester of calculus is required for almost all science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. But nearly one-third of students fail or drop the course, turning calculus into a major leak in the STEM pipeline. By helping students tackle calculus, Aida can be one solution to this challenging education and employment problem.
Aida is a first in the education industry and an important milestone in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for learning. It’s the only education app that uses multiple AI techniques from deep learning and reinforcement learning, customized for the purpose of tutoring students. The use of similar advanced AI algorithms is only seen in major consumer apps. Pearson is the first to apply that level of innovation in the education space.
“Aida is a groundbreaking use of AI to enable learning. It’s the first step we’re making in redesigning education for the talent economy by addressing a major, and often unseen, barrier to STEM careers,” said John Fallon, CEO, Pearson. “With millions of STEM jobs going unfilled, we can’t afford to leave talented students behind and the world can’t afford to lose much needed engineers, economists and computer scientists.”
Aida teaches students how to solve problems and shows why calculus is important in the real world. Students type in an equation or take a photo of their hand-written work. Aida uses advances from deep learning to analyze a student’s work and provide feedback on each line of their hand or type-written problem. Aida immediately gives students hints and recommendations based on best practices from cognitive and learning sciences. Over time, Aida learns what approaches work best for each student by using customized models from reinforcement learning. The app then serves up the most effective suggestions for practice problems, related examples or videos explaining how the concept works in the real world. This allows a student to better understand the material and gives them a truly personalized experience.
Aida contains more than 30 original explainer videos to teach students how calculus underpins concepts like infinity, acceleration and tangents and how those are used in fields such as aerospace or game design. It also includes more than 150 short instructional videos focused on helping students master specific computational issues.
Aida Calculus is the first of Pearson’s family of AI products under the Aida product brand and is the latest milestone in Pearson's digital-first strategy. Pearson is committed to lifelong learning, with the goal of giving everyone affordable and easy to access digital education materials and assessments. 62% of Pearson revenue now comes from digital or digitally enabled products and services that make lifelong education possible.
Aida is available for download on iOS 13 devices through the Apple App Store in the US, UK, Canada, Switzerland, Netherland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Aida will be free to download and use during November and December and available in a subscription model in 2020.
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