AI Students Are Taking Classes Alongside Human Classmates

AI Students Are Taking Classes Alongside Human Classmates

Ferris University is believed to be the first in the country to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create virtual students that will enroll in classes and participate in lessons and assignments.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology uses computer systems to simulate human intelligence, including the ability to perform tasks, make decisions, recognize speech, and analyze images.

Also read: US-Based ChatGPT Highlights AI Development Gap With China

Ferris State University has developed two AI students who are taking classes alongside human classmates. The concept of having AI students seems like a sci-fi movie, but AI technology is ravaging the world today. The technology is rapidly evolving and has affected every sector, including healthcare, education, marketing, and logistics.

Ferris state university’s AI students

The two AI students at Ferris State University are named Ann and Fry. According to Professor Kasey Thompson, who is leading the AI experiment, the AI students will participate in class activities just like any other student would: listening to lectures, turning in assignments, and participating in classroom discussions.

Additionally, the AI students will be able to pick their own classes, take a major, and earn a university degree if they choose to. Researchers involved in the experiment said they are fully leaving it up to Ann and Fry to decide the course of their educational experience.

The university said in a news release that Ann and Fry have been given their own backstories, which will be used to help them complete tasks like declaring a major. Professor Thompson said the AI students have not been given gender or demographic information.

AI students in class

Professor Thompson said that computer systems will be set up with microphones in Ann and Fry’s classrooms so they can listen to their professor’s lecture and any other classroom discussions.

The goal is for Ann and Fry to be able to speak during classroom conversations, but for now, they can only observe the class. Professor Thompson also said that the AI students won’t have a physical, robotic form that will be walking the university’s hallways. For now, researchers want to focus on the classroom experience before adding any mobility to Ann and Fry.

Consequently, Ann and Fry will learn like every other student as higher education has evolved and more students are taking classes online, thereby following the nontraditional route.

However, researchers will monitor Ann and Fry’s daily learning experience, including what it is like to be a student and the feeling of being a freshman in a new school. With this, the faculty will be able to develop ways to make higher education more accessible.

Ferris University AI program

Ferris University’s AI program is one of the three nationwide and the only bachelor of science program in Michigan. They developed the program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and Amazon Web Services.

In December 2023, the university hosted its first AI Day, where high school students participated in a series of interactive exhibits and workshops. The workshops included a Deepfake Lab, an AI Social Engineering Lab, autonomous vehicle racing, working with ChatGPT, and AI’s use in space and satellite cybersecurity.

Several high school students attended the AI Day event at the university’s new Center for Virtual Learning. The Center for Visual Learning opened this fall and has degree programs including Information Security and Intelligence/Artificial Intelligence, Project Management, and Professional Esports Production.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.