In our lifetimes, the most important technological advancements may arguably include cellular phones, the internet, and digital payments, each revolutionizing how we communicate, access information, and conduct transactions. The advent of smartphones has further intensified these effects, making these technologies indispensable in daily life.

Yet, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands out as the groundbreaking innovation, with the potential to transform every aspect of our existence. From smartphones and home appliances to cars and even our homes, AI's influence is becoming ubiquitous. It's anticipated that AI will redefine what we consider revolutionary today, much like the internet and smartphones did in their time.

AI's transformative potential across various industries, including healthcare, automobile, and agriculture, has captured widespread attention. Over the last year and a half, the excitement around AI has significantly grown, primarily due to its capabilities in advancing detection mechanisms for diseases such as cancer and heart conditions. Similarly, its applications in agriculture for optimizing fertilizer placement and crop management, have been notable topics of discussion.

However, our focus here is on education and how AI can revolutionize this sector. The ambition is to expedite student graduations, enhance the advisory process, and enable university presidents to gauge campus efficiency and contribute to global change.

The rapid adoption and integration of AI into other sectors highlights its significance. And unlike previous technological advancements that took years to become mainstream, AI has swiftly become a part of everyday life across all age groups. Its capacity for learning and adaptation makes it a powerful tool that can personalize experiences and improve outcomes based on individual interactions.

But despite these technological leaps, higher education remains an area in need of modernization. While AI and other technologies have evolved, our education system often remains entrenched in outdated practices, hindering students' ability to navigate their academic journey efficiently.

Higher education’s continuing relevance lies in the embracing of AI and other technologies to streamline processes, from registration to graduation. The potential of AI to personalize education, predict student success, and provide actionable insights to educators could revolutionize student learning and administrative efficiency alike.

The big question is, what are the goals for AI here? It’s easy to say AI can solve everything, but just what are we trying to solve for? For starters, the student should be able to go to the search app just like they can go to Google search and say, find me the cheapest pizza or find me the way to go from point A to point B.

They should be able to search and say, how can I graduate faster, or What are my other major options? The only way that's possible is if the system is secure enough and private enough so that we know who the student is, we know what their education curriculum has been, and we can bounce it against the actual data of the university. What we are talking about is our ability to connect all the disparate systems and use that to enable answers to our student’s academic questions. With AI, we can take the student information system, get their academic history data, find out the different courses they need to take and say, Here's your quickest path to success.

AI can also show which instructors they'll be most successful with and which instructional methods they'll likely be successful with, so they can explicitly know which courses they should take. It is important that the program is designed to address the challenges faced by educational institutions, such as data integration, ensuring security, and utilizing AI to create a secure, intelligent environment. It should simplify administrative processes, improve learning outcomes, and offer insights for decision-making. By integrating with various data sources and systems, AI can provide personalized recommendations and actions, from course registration to financial aid management.

AI programs offer tools to identify at-risk students early by analyzing data from multiple sources, thereby enabling timely intervention. This AI-driven approach extends beyond traditional early alert systems, offering more nuanced and comprehensive insights into student needs and potential challenges.

Taking this a step further, AI should be a boon to the recruiting and admissions process. The AI chatbot can help walk a candidate through the nuances that will make one institution a better fit, whether that is class size, demographic makeup of the staff, additional majors and minors, or religious clubs and organizations. On the admissions side, AI can significantly reduce the workload on evaluators, offering instant conversions of credits, courses and grades.

Once the candidate is admitted, AI can improve the college experience at every turn, preparing freshmen for the transition from high school, helping sophomores build their academic journeys, focusing juniors on the end-goal of graduation, and preparing seniors for their post academic life goals.

As we look ahead, the challenge is not just in developing new technologies but in applying them to reform and enhance our education systems. By leveraging AI, we can envision a future where education is more accessible, personalized, and efficient, ultimately contributing to a more educated and empowered society.

About the author

Kiran Kodithala.jpg

Kiran Kodithala is a technology leader and a seasoned expert in the field of educational technology. As the founder and CEO of N2N Services Inc. since 2010, Kiran has been at the forefront of driving innovation in higher education through technology. With a career spanning over 25 years dedicated to the sector, he has established himself as a pivotal figure in transforming how educational institutions leverage technology for better outcomes.
Under Kiran's leadership, N2N Services Inc. has grown to become a leading integrator providing cutting-edge solutions to the challenges faced by educational institutions. His passion for integrating technology into education has led to the development of transformative products like Illuminate and These innovative platforms embody his commitment to harnessing the power of AI and secure data integration to revolutionize educational institutions globally.