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Artificial Intelligence Course Creates AI Teaching Assistant

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A representation of Jill Watson, Virtual Teacher's Assistant.

A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has created a virtual teacher's assistant using technologies from IBM's Watson platform.

Credit: Giacomo Gambineri

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) professor Ashok Goel teaches Knowledge Based Artificial Intelligence every semester, during which students post about 10,000 messages in online forums. In order to manage and respond to all of the messages, Goel and a team of researchers added a virtual teacher's assistant (TA), called Jill Watson, using technologies from IBM's Watson platform.

The researchers also accessed IBM's open developer platform to identify Watson APIs for answer questions, and added Georgia Tech's own processing modules to improve performance. They then wrote code that enables Jill to field routine questions that are asked every semester.

The researchers found Jill was able to answer questions with 97% certainty.

After answering questions, human TAs would upload the responses to the students.

Going into next semester, the researchers plan to have Jill answer 40% of all questions by the end of the year.

From Georgia Tech News Center
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