SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 10: Reduced Inequality
2. Project Details
Company or Institution
General description of the AI solution
The OpenProf solution is based on a belief, that the future of education will be personalised. The belief is based not only on a scientific discovery (http://web.mit.edu/5.95/www/readings/bloom-two-sigma.pdf) but also on market trends: the global private tutoring (personalised learning) industry’s yearly turnover is expected to grow to 260B$ by 2024.
However, behind impressive market numbers, the tutoring industry has failed to solve its biggest problem: personalised learning is out of most parents’ financial reach. The problem can not be solved, unless implementing adequate technologies – which is where AI comes in.
There have been several attempts to aggregate internet's educational materials and leverage it with AI. However the absence of (at least rough) educational materials classification made it almost impossible to organise the materials in such a way, that would bring any significant results for the end users.
OpenProf has approached the problem thoroughly:
– In the first stage, OpenProf organises teachers' communities in order to crowdsource the needed content. As the technical design has been designed with the AI in mind, we are not only gathering (important!) standardised high quality content, but we are also generating content which is by design highly enriched with additional meta data, a crucial part for an effective application of AI.
– In the second stage – and once, the whole ecosystem is ready – the AI is applied. The goal of applying AI is to tailor learning experience to every student individual need – and through that to tackle the (big) problems described in the beginning.
Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.
OpenProf is a web based platform, combining content, AI and social interactions. All of the three elements are essential part of every educational process, where curated crowd sourced content is organised in such a way to fully support the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI), the core of personalised learning/teaching.
OpenProf is not only providing free quality textbooks platform, which reduces students’ expenses, lowers the social and gender gaps, but by substituting personal teacher (or at least enabling blended learning) with a digital service, it reduces the prices of personalised education, resulting in equal (inclusive) access to the best possible educational support. That, again, not only lowers social-based and gender gaps, but enables students and teachers to focus on what really matters in their learning process and increasing their learning/teaching speed, resulting in considerably better learning results (up to 100%).
The implementation of AI at OpenProf is in the initial phase, meaning, we've been focused on the needed ecosystem that could sustain the implementation of AI. There are many needs to be solved prior implementing AI as: clearly defining market problem and solution, correctly designing solution's architecture, technical build up, organisation of the communities, data aggregation.
At this point it needs to be noted, that a huge work has been done in order to prepare an adequate ecosystem, without the AI wouldn't really mean anything.
Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.
OpenProf contends to be the first on the planet to create a long term sustainable system providing free high quality content – which would be an extraordinary civilisational achievement. Enabling free quality textbooks would significantly improve conditions for tens of millions of children around the world. Using AI, to tailor learning process in order to significantly speed up the students' learning curve, is just a dreams coming true.
However, it needs to be noted, that OpenProf has a business model behind, which has helped us to develop the service. But despite that, OpenProf really focuses on to deliver to the general public as much of free content and functionalities as possible.
The OpenProf has been a big success in Slovenia and has become the most popular educational web platform. The internal measurements show, that at least between 30% to 50% of all users, have been directed on OpenProf through recommendation – which according NSP (Net Promoter Score) is classified as at least excellent.
OpenProf has been designed to be highly scalable. We are currently building an English version, which will be addressing a much larger audience. At any time, OpenProf can be expanded to any language thus helping any UNESCO member to not only significantly simplify its digital educational infrastructure but also make it much cheaper.
Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.
OpenProf is, considering its content based nature, highly scalable. Currently we are building an English version, which is done in several steps:
1) AI translation of existing documents (possible due to OpenProf design) into a new language.
2) Hiring native editors for the new language version and train them.
3) Engage local teacher communities (handled new editors) in order curate the AI translated content.
4) Once curation is finished, engage local teacher community in new content creation.
The whole (AI) technology behind, due to same conceptual approach, remains the same – it just needs to be fed with data, which starts to be generated through the platform usage.
OpenProf will in the future be piling data – even more as it is today. At OpenProf we don't see any barriers from preventing various institutions to use our data, however, a more detailed policy hasn't been defined yet.
OpenProf is an SME. As such it needs to protect its business interests as OpenProf's business is currently the only thing enabling our development. Next to that, OpenProf is and will, through its high quality and free textbooks, be challenging big classical publishing houses – which in case of great success, won't be neutral (in fact, in Slovenia we had a chance to taste a bit of their rage). But as long as our development is not put at risk, we are more than open to various initiatives in relation to our data and our activities.
OpenProf is a very successful initiative: in Slovenia we have 95.000 registered users (there are 75.000 high school students in Slovenia) and about 100.000 registered users in Italy (despite the development for Italy has been stopped for several years now). We could say, that our Slovenian teacher community is more engaged than the Slovenian Wikipedia community.
Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.
OpenProf has no notable ethical issues. Its solution is adherent to all ethical principles and is based on inclusiveness, equal opportunities and equality (gender, social, geographical, etc.).