Khan Academy launched Khanmigo, a learning guide powered by GPT-4, to select teachers and students in March.
Unlike ChatGPT, Khanmigo doesn’t do academic work for students, but rather acts as a tutor and guide to help them learn, says Sal Khan, founder of nonprofit learning resource Khan Academy.
“It’s going well,” Khan says of the pilot program. He adds that Khan Academy is currently recruiting additional school districts to work with Khanmigo when school resumes this fall/later summer, and district educators interested in participating should get in touch.
In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about Khanmigo.
How did Khan Academy and Open AI join forces for Khanmigo?
OpenAI contacted Khan Academy last summer, long before ChatGPT became a household name.
“I was skeptical at first because I knew about GPT-3, which I thought was cool, but I didn’t think it was something we could immediately exploit at Khan Academy,” Khan says. “But a few weeks later, when we saw the GPT-4 demo, we were like, ‘Oh, that’s a big deal.'”
While GPT-4 still suffered from some of the “hallucinations” that large language patterns can generate, it had significantly less. It was also much sturdier. “He was able to do things that looked like science fiction before that, like conducting a nuanced conversation,” Khan said. “I actually think 4, if properly invited, feels like he’s passing the Turing test. You really feel like a caring human on the other side.
How is Khanmigo different from ChatGPT?
The free version of ChatGPT is powered by GPT-3.5. For educational purposes, the GPT-4 powered Khanmigo can conduct much more sophisticated conversations, serving as a more realistic tutor for students.
“GPT-3.5 really can’t drive a conversation,” says Khan. “If a student says, ‘Hey, tell me the answer,’ with GPT-3.5, even if you tell them not to say the answer, they’ll still give the answer.”
Rather, Khanmigo will help the student figure out the answer on their own by asking how they arrived at this solution and perhaps pointing out how they may have gotten lost in a math question.
“What we can get 4 to do is something like, ‘Good try. It looks like you might have made a mistake dealing that minus two, why don’t you try again?’ Or, ‘Can you can you help me explain your reasoning, because I think you may have made a mistake?’
Factual hallucinations and miscalculations are also much less common with the Khanmigo version of the technology. These still occur but are rare, Khan says.
How well is Khanmigo working so far?
“Last spring, schools in New Jersey, Indiana, Arizona and California helped us test Khanmigo during the first part of our pilot project,” says Khan. “Teachers have used Khanmigo to do things like co-write lesson plans, lesson hooks, and exit tickets. Students have used Khanmigo for help with math, science, and social studies.
Feedback from students and educators led to updates. “We learned a lot from them,” says Khan. “They shared some recommendations we’ve implemented in Khanmigo, like adding historical and literary characters for chat and adding a way to adjust the reading style. Over the summer, we will make further improvements.
What are the questions about the future of Khanmigo?
Khanmigo can be used to help students as a virtual tutor and as a debating partner. Teachers can also access it to generate lesson plans and assist with other administrative tasks.
Part of the goal of its pilot launch will be to determine what the demand will be for the tutor and how educators and students will use it, Khan says. They also want to see what potential problems could arise from the technology. “We think there’s so much value here for educators and students, and we just don’t want bad things to happen that make people sour on all the positive things. That’s why we’re very careful,” he says.
Cost is another factor the Khan Academy team will be looking at. These AI tools require a huge amount of computing power, which can be expensive to generate, however, costs have been steadily falling and Khan hopes this trend will continue.
How can educators register with Khanmigo?
“Khanmigo is now available for other school districts to pilot with us in the fall,” Khan says. “We will provide professional learning for teachers to help them bring AI into their classrooms, as well as support for districts as well. Districts that join us will help us continue to improve Khanmigo to meet their needs. needs in the classroom. It’s a really exciting time for new districts to be on this journey with us. I think we’re on the cusp of one of the greatest transformations education has ever seen.”
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