Interview with Dr. Santhosh P Mathew

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By Education Today

Posted on April 12, 2022


4 min read

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Influence of artificial Intelligence in learning and teaching.

Chalk and board system of teaching from the Victorian era did not go through major cycles of change till recently. Necessity is the mother of invention and the current global pandemic has rapidly increased the pace of innovation in the teaching learning process.  Sitting still and quiet with military discipline to listen to a teacher whether you like it or not was the norm during the pedagogical dark ages. We are moving to a bright new era of student-centered, blended and hybrid teaching-learning process where a blend of flipped class, online class, in-person class, gamification, teaching assistance by chatbots and AI based assessments will be the new norm.

Future of artificial Intelligence in the education field.

Online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Udacity etc. are quite popular among the student community.  Personalization is one of the greatest contributions of AI to the learning process and most of the current online platforms have already started incorporating AI techniques to personalize learning and assessment. Jil Watson is the Teaching Assistant (TA) chatbot developed by IBM. Along with other human TAs, Jil Watson was also deployed without the knowledge of the students for the purpose of experimentation at Georgia Tech and the students gave the highest rating for Jil and recommended ‘her’ for a teaching award. Along with online learning platforms, we will see Siri, Alexa, Cortana and other such intelligent assistants transform into new TA avatars.  In the near future, Virtual and Augmented Reality too will be integrated into the teaching learning process.

Advice for students who are interested in artificial intelligence related courses and careers.

A plethora of online courses are available and the students find it difficult to choose the right course suited to their needs. AI is a broad area and they need to first match their interest with the AI subdomain. Depending on the background of the student, he/she can either choose Data Science or Machine Learning. Data Science focuses on data visualization and presentation but Machine Learning focuses on the learning algorithms and the process of learning / inference through training on data sets / real-time data. A good background in Mathematics is desirable to excel in Machine Learning related courses. In addition to having a good PC / Laptop with internet access, working knowledge in Python is a prerequisite for AI related courses. R is also a good programming tool when it comes to Data Science.

Students can start with free resources available on the company portals of TensorFlow, Google, Amazon, IBM and NVIDIA. Many good resources from universities like MIT and other industries are available on YouTube. After getting a good introduction, they can move on to complete a Specialization through Coursera, Nanodegree through Udacity, MicroMasters through Edx,  PG Diploma or other Certifications from other reputed course providers. 

Things to keep in mind while opting for studies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

You need to have passion and persistence in the pursuit of excellence in AI related domains. Learn theoretical concepts and gain hands-on experience. Install the related tools and frameworks on your personal computer or use platforms like Google Colab to run your code. Make it a point to do Mini Projects and Capstone Projects to gain greater confidence.

About Saintgits Institute of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (SIAIML).

SIAIML is an institution set up to streamline the AI related R&D and Training initiatives of Saintgits Group of Institutions. As of now, we support the ASAP AI&ML course of Government of Kerala, being offered through Saintgits College of Engineering, MSc in Artificial Intelligence Programme offered by Saintgits College of Applied Sciences and the ML/DL courses offered as part of B.Tech, M.Tech and MCA programmes at Saintgits College of Engineering. We also offer short term training programmes in Deep Learning. We are working in collaboration with industries and other research organizations in India and abroad and plan to take up and execute relevant projects.