Can’t wrap your head around linear algebra? Artificial intelligence (AI) can now solve your math problems in seconds.
Inside Higher Ed reports that a neural network model developed by computer science lecturer Iddo Drori and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides speedy answers to college math problems.
Neural networks are excellent at pattern recognition. The more data they look at, the better they get at training themselves and creating new examples.
Students observed that the model generated new problems indistinguishable from those created by humans, automatically providing solutions.
The new algorithm, which is open source and available on GitHub, can already be used by academics to create course materials.
It speeds up the development of course content for lengthy residential courses and massive open online courses with thousands of students. The program can also act as an automated tutor that walks students through college-level math problems.
The MIT group believes the technology can improve higher education by assisting teachers in understanding the relationship between courses and their prerequisites. The model has been steadily evolving for more than two years.
Drori said there is still a lot that needs to be done. Although students gave the computer-generated questions the same rating as the questions drafted by humans, his team has not yet assessed the students’ evaluations of the solutions provided by the algorithm.
The AI also cannot handle questions involving mathematical proofs or those that rely on visuals like graphs or charts. However, the team said they are satisfied with the outcome so far and hopeful that advancements will continue.
“We improved a high school math benchmark from 8 percent to 80 percent accuracy, and we solved university-level course problems for the first time and at a human level,” Drori stated. “It’s not every day that you move the needle by an order of magnitude.”