While language-based artificial intelligence systems, such as ChatGPT, are notorious for their use as cheating tools, AIs have been doing math for much longer. Instead of doing your homework for you, new developments in AI are being applied to a much more difficult subject: teaching humans how to do math.
Peter Relan is an investor and a board member for Got It Education, the creators of MathGPT and other virtual learning tools. His panel was on the use of technology in the classroom, where AI was in the spotlight as the tool of the future.
Earlier this year, ChatGPT became a subject of discussion and controversy because it could be used as a cheating method in classes. Unlike ChatGPT, MathGPT is trained using textbooks, and is meant to be an engaging educator of the original textbook.
"There's a chatbot that totally understands my textbook, and we are in the process of building textbook by textbook, not like a generic chatbot like ChatGPT … You can just talk in English, you just chat with your book," Relan said.
In practice, this looks like a table of contents with a chat screen. MathGPT is meant to both lecture and respond to provided answers. Relan also explained that it gives students assessments to provide real-time data to teachers.
"If the classroom is working with MathGPT, the entire class is working away and you're getting real time data … Students are now identified (for) you and you can say, 'Hey this part of the class is struggling with this section'," Relan said.
This is another area where MathGPT differs from programs like ChatGPT, because it is designed to be used in conjunction with a classroom.
"Teachers are our advisors right now, and when we pilot it, hopefully, this summer, is when we plan to bring the teachers into using the product," Relan said.
MathGPT is still in development, but it does have some notable planned features. This includes a video mode, where students can choose their "teacher" and learn from photorealistic avatars of famous figures like Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton.