GPT-4 is ready to be a tutor says Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy

Khan also acknowledges that the tutor, GPT-4, still has a lot to learn.
Ameya Paleja
Khanmigo logo.
Khanmigo logo.

Khan Academy  

GPT-4, OpenAI's latest version of its artificial intelligence (AI) model is ready to be a tutor says Salman Khan, the founder of the Khan Academy, a U.S. non-profit organization that provides online tools to help students learn. Khan said this during an interview during the recently concluded Abundance 360 summit.

GPT-4 is the advanced AI model that Microsoft is also using to power its products and services and some like Elon Musk have called for a moratorium on the release of future versions of AI.

Khan, however, was one of the early users of the technology, even as it was being developed after OpenAI approached him to use the AI model for his non-profit work. The result of the collaboration is Khanmigo, an AI-assisted tutor, which is also being trialed by teachers and students on a pilot basis.

GPT-4 as a tutor

Khan is well aware of the basic math mistakes that users have spotted ChatGPT make and shared them on social media. However, the man who has tutored tens of thousands of children through his non-profit venture, believes that the AI engine of GPT-4 makes for a good tutor.

The Khanmigo bot works more or less like a real-life tutor and can look at a student's work to determine where and why they might be stuck. The AI-assisted tutor can not just determine whether a student has answered a question correctly or not, it can also point out areas where the student's reasoning might have gone astray.

GPT-4 is ready to be a tutor says Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy
Sample of how GPT-4 powers Khanmigo

Khan is of the view that such technology provides students with a highly personalized learning option, something that is available at the right moment when the student is studying in class. Additionally, it offers a learning opportunity to students, irrespective of their background, whether they are in rich or developing countries.

Instead of simply using the capabilities of GPT-4 to power Khanmigo, the team at Khan Academy also put their own 'secret sauce' into the AI tutor to help it avoid math errors. Khan also pointed out how a student could pick a topic and debate it with the AI tutor and the AI would respond by taking into consideration the schooling level of the student.

Even as schools are looking for effective ways to ban the use of AI technology among students who are using them to submit their assignments, Khan is of the view that it presents an opportunity for students to receive personalized learning.

Khan is keen to see GPT-4 help students in areas where a diagram or graph is needed but is not supported currently. Nevertheless, he is happy that GPT-4 can break down a math problem into steps much like a tutor needs to.

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