TAL's AI Mandarin Teaching App Receives Recognition by UNESCO
BEIJING, April 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- TAL's Improving literacy, preserving language, and providing inclusion using AI and big data has been selects by UNESCO as one of the innovative projects of Mobile Learning Week 2020, under the theme "Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion".
TAL's AI "Putonghua" Teacher is an app that allows Yi children, as well as other students from all backgrounds, access to Mandarin language learning resources and tools. The system requirements are minimal and mobile-friendly, available across all platforms and devices. One device or PC with audio capabilities are sufficient to run the system, making it easier for users to learn both on the go and in the classroom. The interface is easy to learn and navigate, even for self-learning students, without the need of teacher assistants.
The project focuses on helping improve the overall literacy rate, using AI speech recognition and big data, to increase opportunities for further inclusivity and social mobility within these rural communities. In 2018, Xueersi Online School under TAL, developed the AI Mandarin Teaching System specifically for Zhaojue County (Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Liangshan), Sichuan. The customized Mandarin-Yi bilingual learning module was developed for pre-school children there. Its system deeply integrates technologies, such as voice recognition and voice assessment, conducts intelligent real-time assessment and correction. Therefore, the program can help kids improve their mandarin proficiency. By November 2019, nearly 80,000 students and over 2,000 middle and primary school teachers have benefited from this program, which has laid the foundation for future education equity and poverty elimination in remote regions inhabited by rural communities. The idea is to help preserve the Yi language while connecting learners to the outside world.
Having been exhibited at multiple events, including China-CEEC Education Cooperation Exhibition and the 1st International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Education, the program has won worldwide recognition.
Mobile Learning Week (MLW) is the United Nations' flagship event on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education, and has been organized by UNESCO and its partners for eight consecutive years. The 2020 edition of MLW, under the theme Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion, was postponed due to the outbreak. However, its design to steer the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) towards the inclusion and equity in education has succeeded, standing behind its core values of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and propeller of digital opportunities for all. It is noted that programs from Google and University College London are also among the recipients awarded Mobile Learning Week 2020 Innovation Certificate for their contributions.
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