ADAPT Centre's Professor Vincent Wade Discusses Generative AI in EdTech

28 May 2024

In a talk at Trinity College Dublin recently, Professor Vincent Wade, Co-Founder of the ADAPT SFI Research Centre, outlined the transformative potential of Generative AI (GenAI) within the education technology (EdTech) sector. Highlighting both the benefits and challenges of this field, Professor Wade emphasised the significant role GenAI will play in the digital transformation of educational practices. 

Understanding Generative AI

 Generative AI, a branch of artificial intelligence that can create text, images, video, and speech, is revolutionising various industries by enhancing productivity and enabling personalised user experiences. Unlike traditional automation technologies, GenAI has a profound impact on knowledge-intensive tasks, such as decision-making and collaboration, which were previously resistant to automation. By leveraging large language models (LLMs), GenAI can generate coherent and contextually appropriate content, thereby streamlining communication and knowledge management across organisations.

Impact on Education

In the educational sphere, GenAI offers a multitude of applications aimed at improving both teaching and learning experiences. For students, GenAI tools can provide personalised tutoring, generate candidate answers, and offer feedback, thus facilitating rapid learning and knowledge exchange. Teachers, on the other hand, can utilise GenAI to create customised lesson plans, generate quizzes, and distill student responses, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of their teaching methods. Additionally, school administrators can benefit from AI-driven solutions for administrative tasks, such as generating guides and creating questionnaires, ultimately reducing the workload and improving organisational efficiency.

Risks and Challenges

Despite its numerous advantages, Generative AI also presents significant challenges. Issues such as hallucinations, where the AI generates plausible yet factually incorrect information, and a lack of specificity can hinder its effectiveness. Moreover, the training and customisation of foundational models require substantial resources, including massive datasets, computational power, and financial investment. Addressing inclusiveness and bias, ensuring robustness, and enhancing the interpretability and transparency of AI systems are critical for their reliable and ethical deployment. 

Future Directions and the Role of ADAPT

Looking ahead, the ADAPT Centre is at the forefront of pioneering human-centric AI research, focusing on ethical and trustworthy AI governance, hybrid approaches to GenAI, and the development of small, green AI models. By integrating advanced conversational strategies and fine-tuning LLMs for specific educational contexts, ADAPT aims to enhance the accuracy and grounding of AI-generated content, ensuring it meets the needs of diverse user groups.

Organisations seeking to adopt generative AI systems can greatly benefit from partnering with ADAPT. With its multidisciplinary research approach, ADAPT is dedicated to advancing GenAI technologies that empower individuals and organisations. The Centre’s commitment to creating inclusive, accountable, and robust AI solutions ensures that partners receive cutting-edge, ethical, and customised AI applications tailored to their specific needs. Organizations can also leverage the latest advancements in AI to drive innovation and achieve a balanced digital society. 

To view the full recording of the talk click here: 

Download our brochure (pdf) on generative AI and education here: