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Leveraging AI for Communities in Education: Yellowdig's Approach

At Yellowdig, we are passionate about revolutionizing education by harnessing the power of computers and artificial intelligence, while keeping the human element at the forefront. In a recent presentation at “The Human Connection Summit” by our team members, Brian Verdine, Ph.D., VP of Academic Product Engagement and Shaunak Roy, Founder and CEO, we delved into how Yellowdig is using AI to transform the learning experience and empower educators and students alike.

One of the key aspects Shaunak Roy and Dr. Brian Verdine highlighted in the presentation is our commitment to intentionality in our AI development. We believe that AI should not just be a bolt-on tool but should align with our philosophy as a company and proven pedagogical principles. As such, we are actively working on a number of projects with our partners that both pushes the boundaries of what's possible with AI in education and makes our technology work better for learners and instructors.

How does Yellowdig already use AI?

One of the exciting applications of AI that has been part of Yellowdig for years now is the use of machine learning to experiment with our point settings for our patented point system. This work allowed us to take advantage of our own data and partner research to develop an AI model that simulates how different settings impact outcomes.  As part of this project we adjusted the point settings to increase the types of student participation associated with better learning outcomes and higher persistence. Ultimately, this AI project led to the “pre-baked” default settings in the platform that reliably create healthy learning communities within Yellowdig. The project has also allowed us to better consult with designers and instructors who are trying to leverage the point system to achieve other specific outcomes.

Another area where AI is already making a significant impact in Yellowdig is in providing automatic video captioning for videos, both those recorded within-platform and uploaded. This feature allows for greater accessibility and inclusivity in online learning environments. Whether a learner or instructor is hearing impaired, working from a noisy household, or quickly trying to watch during a noisy subway commute, this use of AI ensures more learners can engage effectively with their community, whatever their situation.

The Future of AI in Education Communities

In the presentation, we also discussed a few areas that are still under development. A quick teaser includes using AI to detect toxic behavior in communities. We have much more in the works too, so stay tuned!

As Dr. Verdine shares in the presentation, “The real opportunity [of AI] lies in using our own data to create tools around it, which we can make available to our users, to our students, and others…But there are a whole bunch of questions around privacy policies, making sure the PII doesn't get leaked out, and things like that, so this is an area where we would love to have more conversations with you, as we go down this road.”

We have created our own internal guidelines at Yellowdig to focus on using AI to make learning “easy” (EESE):





We believe that by leveraging the power of AI to accomplish these things, we can create a more engaging and inclusive learning experience. Most importantly, by focusing on these things, we can enable more people to travel together on their educational journeys.

As you will continue to see, at Yellowdig, we are committed to using AI to improve education by enhancing human connection, not removing it. 

Learn more about the summit where this presentation took place in the 90-second video below.

AI & Human connection - 4 women collaborating at a table

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