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Is A.I. the Future of Test Prep?

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Part of Riiid’s interface, which provides in-depth insights on a student’s test readiness.

Credit: Riid

Since Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle, humanity has known that the best education is delivered one-to-one by an experienced educator. But that is expensive, labor-intensive and difficult to scale. The result is the imperfect classroom-based instruction that we live with today: large class sizes, overworked and overloaded teachers, a deficiency of resources. Educators focus what little time they have for personal attention either on the best and the brightest or on the bottom of the class. The broad middle is often left to fend for itself.

Educators may have a new tool, A.I., to address those issues. Innovative forms of the technology, based on computer code that mimics the networks of neurons in the human brain, can uncover patterns in how students perform and can help teachers adjust their strategies accordingly. "A.I. tutors" — software systems that students interact with online — promise to give every student individualized attention, potentially remaking education as we know it.

Among the handful of companies leading that transformation is Riiid (pronounced "rid"), a start-up founded in Korea by YJ Jang, a graduate of Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Riiid already has a strong presence in the Asian test-prep app market for the Test of English for International Communication, or TOEIC, which measures English-language proficiency for business. Now, Riiid is about to enter the SAT and ACT prep market in the United States.

From The New York Times
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