Weekly News Brief. 3/3-3/9 Could Artificial Intelligence Automate Student Note-Taking? | Gov. Justice to Call Special Session to Discuss Ed Reform, Pay Raises
Could Artificial Intelligence Automate Student Note-Taking? – By Benjamin Herold, EdWeek
Artificially intelligent digital agents are being marketed as a way to automate note-taking in the workplace, raising a big question for K-12:
Are classrooms next?
Take, for example, EVA, a "digital voice assistant" created by Silicon Valley startup Voicea. The AI agent can automatically read users' calendars, dial itself into their meetings, and use natural-language processing algorithms to create real-time transcripts of what's said. As a meeting progresses, EVA can also respond to voice commands ("EVA, add that to my to-do list") and "trigger" words ("that's a good point") to highlight what's most important.
In an interview, Voicea CEO Omar Tawakol described the technology as a way to help the masses employ the same listening and learning skills as top executives.
"Really good CEOs are 100 percent focused on their conversations, not looking at a screen," Tawakol said. "Obviously, the same thing is true in classrooms. You don't want people on their phones or opening up their laptops pretending to take notes."
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is calling a special legislative session to address teacher pay raises and other education issues.
Justice said in a news release Wednesday night the special session would be held after the 60-day regular session ends on Saturday.
The governor asked lawmakers to go out and seek input from teachers, parents and others so that when they return to Charleston, "they will be ready to tackle the issues and get it done." The statement did not specify when lawmakers would return.
Justice last fall requested a 5 percent pay raise for teachers, state police and other state workers. The House of Delegates has passed a measure dealing solely with those raises but the state Senate has not.
Justice says the pay raise funding will be included in the upcoming state budget as an unappropriated expense.