Pearson Plc will introduce generative artificial intelligence study tools into its online higher education platform in time for the upcoming academic year, as the education publisher seeks to allay investor concern over the threat of AI to digital education services.
(Bloomberg) — Pearson Plc will introduce generative artificial intelligence study tools into its online higher education platform in time for the upcoming academic year, as the education publisher seeks to allay investor concern over the threat of AI to digital education services.
ChatGPT-style tools will provide real time personalized support for students on some titles in its online textbook and assessment platforms, Pearson+ and Mastering, the London-based company said in an announcement as part of its financial results on Monday.
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Chief Executive Officer Andy Bird said Pearson is still early on in its generative AI development journey, but said that “generative AI is a real, long-term positive to the company.”
Pearson initially outlined its plans to integrate AI into its operations in May, after rival Chegg Inc. warned that AI chatbots were threatening its homework-help services, sending industry share prices tumbling. Pearson’s shares sank 15% at the time, though it recovered some losses in subsequent days.
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Bird said that the tools would not simply provide students with a “shortcut to an answer” but further personalize the learning experience by combining AI capabilities with the publisher’s proprietary intellectual property and data sets.
The tools being introduced include the “On a Tight Schedule” feature which uses AI to summarize the key points of learning videos for time-pressed students. Chief Product Officer Tony Prentice also highlighted an AI assisted learning tool designed to help students solve complex problems by generating questions to guide them to a correct answer.
The company said that the integration with Pearson’s intellectual property will give students the ability to move quickly between an e-text and an AI chatbot.
The shares were little changed at 12:31 p.m. in London trading on Monday after earlier rising as much as 4%. The stock has declined 6.8% so far this year.
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