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Ashok Goel, Professor at Georgia Tech, teaches knowledge-based artificial intelligence to 300 students every semester, which results in about 10 000 messages on the online forum. An amount that to the Professor and his eight assistants is a mission impossible to reply to. At the same that it is well-known that too many students drop out of class because of lack of teacher support. To solve this dilemma Professor Goel in this semester included a ninth member of the team, Jill Watson, however she is in many ways different from the other teacher assistants, especially since she is not even a “she”. Jill Watson happens to be a virtual teaching assistant from IBM’s Watson platform. Professor Goel explains: “The world is full of online classes, and they’re plagued with low retention rates. One of the main reasons many students drop out is because they don’t receive enough teaching support. We created Jill as a way to provide faster answers and feedback.” Best of all, besides the first weeks after the introduction, students now generally do not perceive differences in the answers in comparison with a real teaching assistant. Source: Georgia Tech News Center