Khan Academy Pilots GPT-4 Powered Tool Khanmigo for Teachers

Khan Academy has launched a limited pilot of a new learning guide called Khanmigo for educators, powered by GPT-4, the next-generation of OpenAI's large language model technology, which formally launched today as well.

GPT-4 is the successor to OpenAI's GPT-3.5, upon which ChatGPT is built. OpenAI says GPT-4 exceeds the capabilities of GPT-3.5. It can accept images as input, can handle up to 25,000 words of text at once, and is designed with more "safety and alignment" features, among other changes. Its accuracy and ability to handle more complex problems has also been improved, according to OpenAI.

In a blog post, Khan Academy Founder Sal Khan wrote: "When GPT-4 is carefully adapted to a learning environment like Khan Academy, it has enormous potential. It can guide students as they progress through courses and ask them questions like a tutor would. AI can assist teachers with administrative tasks, which saves them valuable time so they can focus on what’s most important — their students."

He explained that the technology acts as a virtual Socrates, engaging in a back-and-forth dialog and asking students questions. In a video demonstration, a student asks Khanmigo for the answer to a math question. Khanmigo replies that it's important for the student to learn to solve problems on their own. It then asks "What do you think you need to do to multiply 2 by 5/12?" The student replies, "They need the same denominator." Khanmigo then replies, "That's a good thought, but in this case, you don't need to find a common denominator because you're multiplying, not adding or subtracting. What else could you try?"

Khan emphasized that the pilot is very limited. The nonprofit is inviting its partner schools, which currently number about 500, to join Khan Labs to be able to test new learning technologies. The release is only hours old, so it's unknown how many will be participating.

"To test the possibilities of AI, we’re inviting our district partners to opt in to Khan Labs, a new space for testing learning technology," Khan wrote. "Our goal is to ethically and responsibly provide access to our experimental AI tool, which we’re calling Khanmigo. These few teachers and students will be our partners on this learning journey, helping us improve AI so that it meets their needs in the classroom. We want to maximize the benefits while mitigating the risks."

In the video below, Sal Khan provides some details of Khanmigo.

Further details can be found on the Khan Academy site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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