Bill Gates is optimistic that artificial intelligence will have a positive impact on education in a way that makes learning simpler for students and educators.
“As a motivated student myself, I loved to learn things. The Internet has had things like Wikipedia and YouTube and so many amazing resources,” Gates said on Wednesday at an event with innovators in Lagos State.
“Whenever I want to understand, ‘What is fertiliser? How does it work? Why is it expensive?’ I can go out and get educated and that’s true of math and history and so many things. Now, with AI, it’s even better.”
According to him, one could do a lot, including debate the late Isaac Newton and simplify complex things, “like you can say ‘explain quantum to a sixth grader’ and it does a very good job.”
The Microsoft co-founder noted that artificial intelligence had taken the education tools for the motivated person to “a whole new level”.
Arguing that a lot about education pertains to giving children confidence and meeting them at their level, he said subjects like mathematics that might be considered boring could be simplified.
“We can help teachers crack the homework automatically. We can create personalised sets of questions for students. But when it comes to that motivation, when kids get discouraged or confused, we’ll try and do some of that with the AI,” he said.
“But as of right now, for the non-typical student who isn’t just going to go out and teach themselves, it’s a combination of all this amazing material plus investing in the teachers.”
At the event, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation participated in a conversation with Nigerian students and young leaders.
The moderated event, co-hosted by the Co-Creation Hub Nigeria and Lagos Business School, was tagged ‘Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation’.
It was aimed at gathering insights and sharing perspectives on how science and innovation can accelerate positive change and contribute to a brighter outlook for Africa.