AI-Powered Word Problem Solver: The Future of Math Education

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We can use AI in every area of life. It mimics human interaction and writes content for you. Additionally, it will solve word problems for math students. What will it do next? Is this our future? For some it’s exciting and for others; frightening. Regardless of how you look at it. AI is here to stay. Let’s look at the positive impact on education and how it works. 

How Does an AI-Powered Word Problem Solver Work?

 AI uses a step by step prompt for each problem the same way a human teacher would write out a word problem. The programmer gives the steps to the AI word problem solver app, and the AI gives those steps to the student.  

You can find AI powered word problem solvers online. We’ll use math apps as an example. These apps use AI to solve a wide variety of mathematical equations in a fun, interactive way. It can help the student with word problems, geometry, calculus, graphing and more. As soon as you go to the website you may see an animated teacher waiting to interact with you. Kids love a fun way to learn and this is it! 

How Does an AI Powered Word Problem Solver Work?

 So, how do they work? We’ll explain a highly technical procedure in a simple way.

Imagine you’re in school with a human teacher that writes out a word problem for the class. 

  • In the first stage of development, the AI programmer is the teacher, and the AI problem solver is the student. 
  • After they program the AI, it becomes the teacher, and the user becomes the student. 
  • Finally, the student, (that’s you) types in the word problem and the AI provides the solution and how they came to it. 


What’s the Impact of the AI-Powered Word Problem Solver on Education? 

There’s some concern about students not being challenged enough when they use the AI word problem solver. Let’s address the issue. The first thing to clarify is the purpose of a word problem. Word problems develop critical thinking skills. The problems reflect real-life experiences that a student must navigate. 

In a productive educational setting, the teacher is still an integral part of the student learning experience regardless of AI. Accuracy is not yet 100% and may never be. There’s more development and field testing necessary, which takes time.

 If a parent is concerned that their child is not being challenged enough, a parent-teacher meeting is in order. The same for teachers who may not be so welcoming of our robotic math tutor. So, in a nutshell, a proactive attitude will get the industry through the issues. 

The Big Picture for AI in Education

Big changes cause concerns, It’s normal. The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” also holds true with their education. As we progress, our knowledge of AI opens a whole new vista  for many industries. Not as a threat, but to make them more efficient. 

To fully understand the AI impact on education, let’s look at a recent study done by The International Journal of Higher Education Online Published: March 20, 2020. Called The Future of Higher Education in the Light of Artificial Intelligence Transformations. 

According to this study, the main takeaway is that AI provides a positive and collaborative educational environment in both the secondary and higher-education landscape. It provides a way to make learning a team effort as well as a solitary one when needed. It can be surmised from this study, that AI can pay attention to the needs of the individual student. 

Little Known Benefits of AI on Word Problem Solving

People are just getting used to the idea of AI. Apps, most people know, but not everyone understands them. So, let’s illustrate some of the little known benefits of using AI to solve word problems

AI solves the biggest concern over using it to teach kids. The question is, if the student just receives the answer, how are they really learning? There’s a great answer to that. If the AI platform is created correctly for students, the student can ask the app several things.

  • How did the AI come to a solution?
  • Will answer anything they don’t understand. 
  • It will respond with one or more alternate word problem solutions and the explanation as to how they came to it.
  • If the student still doesn’t understand, the AI is trained to repeat alternative solutions until they get it. 

Basically, it’s the same as a live teacher. Here are some positives about mimicking a real teacher. 

  • They can be more efficient.
  • No distractions. 
  • The student receives personal attention to their particular weaknesses.
  • Gives the student positive or neutral feedback.
  • Can give students games and quizzes that are fun and provide the ultimate learning experience.
  • There are thousands of combinations that AI can come up with that can challenge the student even more than a live teacher. 

Will AI Ever Replace Live Teachers? 

AI will not replace a live teacher, at least not soon; however, we must acknowledge that AI can tailor the lessons to the needs of the individual student as stated in the aforementioned study.  

AI Can Remove the Stigma of Student Isolation.

We’ve all been in a position where we can’t learn as fast as others. Classrooms are becoming more overcrowded. Both students and teachers are suffering, yet there’s no relief in sight. More and more parents are homeschooling kids. When a student has a weakness in a subject, they’re often sent to remedial classes, which isolate them and damages their psyche. 

AI can help the situation in two ways, maybe more. Let’s address them. 

  1. We can use AI as a tutor when a student needs extra help on something they’re challenged with, AI can do a great job of fixing that. 
  2. In another instance, AI could help the student learn in a non-threatening atmosphere. 

Bottom Line:

Humans can look forward to some interesting twists and turns surrounding AI. The goal should be to work with it and not against it in order to advance ourselves and live a better life.