An Austin based private school, Alpha private school, says that they do not have teachers, instead using artificial intelligence to teach students. They do not directly call the artificial intelligence AI, rather referring to it as their “guides.” Along with the AI “guides,” they have many adults in the classroom working as what they refer to as “coaches.”
The students start their day with the one-on-one AI work, doing so for two hours a day.
The school’s cofounder, MacKenzie Price, explained the functionality of the AI. She said the AI works with the same information and topics that students would engage with in other schools. The difference that she explains between traditional learning and artificial intelligence is that the AI apps that are used teach at the “appropriate level and pace that [the students] need.”
The AI that Alpha uses even includes a program in which historical figures are AI generated and talk through their own history, which is then followed by a quiz.
The school, their reliance on artificial intelligence, and their overall design has been subject to mixed feelings. Many gawk at the first words stating they do not have any teachers that they work with. Some appreciate the innovative and creative teaching methods. One student is one who appreciates the setup. A fifth grader named Byron said he loves getting instate feedback for his work, something he did not get in his public school that he previously attended. He described how the AI works to respond to answers. The program does not just say correct, but rather will explain why an answer is correct as well. Furthermore, it will also give alternative answers saying, “You can answer the question this way next time.”
MacKenzie Prince said the AI lessons are completely personalized to the student taking them. Because of this, she explained some students may be 7 years old but working on eighth grade reading level assignments. From this, the AI program is aware that the student is still younger than an eighth grader and too young to read eighth grade content, so it will generate texts written at the higher reading level, but with 7 year old appropriate subject matter.