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Khan Academy Envisions AI as a Supportive Guide for Students, Not a Tool for Cheating

Khan Academy, renowned for its innovative approach to digital education and its commitment to providing equal opportunities, is now focusing on harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence to serve as a supportive guide for students.

According to Fast Company, Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, was introduced to OpenAI’s GPT software during a private demonstration by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, CEO and president of OpenAI, respectively. Khan was greatly impressed by the program’s intelligent responses to academic questions.

Enthralled by its capabilities, Khan dedicated numerous nights to explore the AI model, formulating prompts that mirrored the inquiries of eager learners. “I spent sleepless nights, molding it into a tutor, experimenting with various personas, and developing lesson plans,” Khan revealed.

While students may have already incorporated AI technologies like ChatGPT into their learning routines, often facing restrictions, Khan Khan emphasizes the potential of such tools when used ethically and responsibly.

Khanmigo- AI(m) to learn.

Rather than have students access ChatGPT— developed with a general, conversational purpose— Khan Academy developed Khanmigo, a chatbot designed to guide students through math problems and code and even engage in conversation in the voices of characters like Hamlet.

Khanmigo can appear alongside existing videos and assignments and carefully reason through a problem rather than simply spitting out an answer when students ask.

“We’ve prompted our way so that Khanmigo has a humility about it,” said Khan. “It actually doesn’t say ‘You’re wrong,’ it says ‘That’s not what I got, can you explain your reasoning?’”

Khanmigo can also spot errors with programming code faster than most human instructors would and then lead students in the right direction rather than telling them if they’re right or wrong. 

Although the AI model isn’t 100% accurate yet with math, Khan says the accuracy ramps up drastically when prompted to explain its work before presenting the student with an answer. “It’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty magical at the same time.”

With a second AI monitoring interactions to make sure conversations don’t go anywhere “shady” and training to refuse if prompted by students to do their homework for them, Khanmigo is armed with the tools to shut down unwanted conversations and even notify parents and teachers.

In line with its history.

Khanmigo is currently being tested with a handful of schools and districts and is in line to be open to a wider beta this summer. Individuals can enter a wait list to try Khanmigo but will have to commit to donating at least $20 per month upon selection for now. 

Founded in 2006, Khan Academy has been priceless, helping millions of students around the globe gain knowledge and improve themselves academically. Their approach of providing free yet top-quality videos and content curated by experts that are easy to understand has gained them nothing short of praise.

Sal Khan envisions Khanmigo growing with features like coaching students on writing, moderating debates, and even becoming the interface people use to interact with Khan Academy.