AI teacher is always there

From a professional perspective, Peng Shouye, a programmer born in 1984, is a powerful sir. He graduated from one of the top schools in the field of artificial intelligence in China. He can write concise and beautiful code, send beautiful paper when studying, and has been an excellent employee while working at Baidu. He is also interested in modern mathematics and even taught himself the theory of relativity and Riemannian geometry.

But at the age of 31, Mr. Peng encountered a problem he had never met in his life-the trouble as a father. The two-year-old daughter was not close to him. The friend’s daughter would be jealous when she saw her father holding another child, but she didn’t. What worries him even more is that she refused to let go of her iPad when she was very young, and learned to scold others in dialect. She would imitate adults and there would always be one or two sentences.

Like many young couples working hard in Beijing, when she was born, they had not bought a house and were busy with their work. They had to put her in their hometown for the elderly to take care of. His daughter grew up to two years old in Jiangxi. He missed the first “daddy” she called and missed the first moment she stood up. By the time she returned to Beijing, the education issue was already urgent.

But helplessly, even if her daughter arrived in Beijing, Peng Shouye still had no time to get along with her. He was already one of the core leaders of Baidu’s technology department at that time. When he worked overtime, he arrived at two or three in the morning, and his daughter was already asleep when he arrived home. In 2015, he had another son, and he was unable to accompany him for more debts.

At that time, his professional field was also undergoing earth-shaking changes. The tide of artificial intelligence began to surge. In the spring of 2016, artificial intelligence robot AlphaGo competed with Go world champion and professional nine-segment player Li Shishi in Seoul, South Korea. The former won by a total score of 4-1. This game is not only about Go, but also about the demolishing and reshaping of technology, future, and self-knowledge by all human beings. It is a declaration that the era of artificial intelligence has really arrived.

For this young man who has been studying artificial intelligence since 2006, opportunities also come. He decided to resign from Baidu, get rid of the shackles of big companies and start a business, starting from his own experience, to be a companion robot that can accompany children.

Long-cherished wish
This time he has waited 10 years.

In 2004, Peng Shouye was transferred from the Physics Department of Shandong University to the Computer Department, and was immediately attracted by it. Two years later, he was admitted to the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The list of SCOPUS, the world’s largest digest database, shows that the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the independent institution with the most published papers in the field of artificial intelligence in China. Peng Shouye was studying speech recognition at the time, which is a branch of artificial intelligence.

At that time, artificial intelligence was not popular. But Peng Shouye was determined. He went to foreign companies first, then to Alibaba and Baidu, and has been doing work related to speech recognition.

When he started his business in 2016, the first product he participated in as a core member was a companion smart speaker. That speaker can tell children a bedtime story, can sing nursery rhymes, and can also do knowledge-based questions and answers. For example, what is the highest mountain in the world? There are several continents in the world.

It was then that the educational institution learned and thought of the online school and found him, hoping that he could be a real “AI teacher” system in the online school. He thought for half a year and decided to join. “I was thinking for a long time, and I felt that it was really worth doing. Because children are willing to play with AI and are willing to learn, it is a natural thing for them.” He said.

This comes from his observation of his children. His daughter likes to pick cartoons on the smart remote control. As long as the titles of “Pig Pig” and “Piglet Page” are mentioned, the TV will automatically jump and play. His son likes to talk to intelligent robots. This generation of children has long been accustomed to interacting with machines. For them, this is natural and commonplace.

Now, a year later, the system has begun to take shape, and tens of thousands of children have benefited from it. At present, AI teachers can not only intelligently evaluate children’s English pronunciation, but also help children recite ancient poems, recite texts, correct homework, and even correct composition.

After AI teachers share their work, tutors also have more time, and they can devote more energy to the essential problems of education, that is, the education of children’s thinking, ability, aesthetics, and character.

As a parent, Peng Shouye believes that the more important meaning of AI teachers is to solve the universal problem of this era-as many busy parents as there are children who need to be accompanied. The companionship of parents and teachers is always limited by time, and the AI ​​teacher is always there.

Child’s secret
This year, Peng Shouye understood the secrets of many children.

For example, they are the little creatures on earth that need to be praised the most. The AI ​​teacher has a function called voice assessment. When children read English words, the system will judge a score. “There was a period when our scores were adjusted very tightly and the high scores were very difficult. One day I relaxed, and a child got 7 100 points. Parents said the child can be excited for two weeks.” Peng Shouye said, “You can’t think of it, they will Read a sentence 10 times repeatedly until you get a high score.”

As a result, they added praise mechanisms in more functions, such as multiplayer role-playing, maybe the big bad wolf from Xinjiang, and the Little Red Riding Hood from Shanghai, and the grandmother from the United States. After the end, the system will automatically judge the recitation score, and the children will get likes. The more likes they have, the more motivated they must be.

Learning to compliment is the first lesson he learned: “For example, my daughter likes to paint. From a professional point of view, my daughter is definitely not the best. But I thought, I don’t need to ask her to be an artist. Just paint according to her meaning. , I feel very creative.”

As the children grow up, they begin to appreciate the emotions and begin to understand expression and feedback. The sweet moments between father and daughter and father and son are gradually accumulating. The 5-year-old daughter is now very dependent on Peng Shouye. In theory, she no longer needs an adult to hug, but she still often asks for Peng Shouye.

He often chats with his colleague Wang Kaifu about his feelings after becoming a father. Wang Kaifu’s children are now one and a half years old. He has also done artificial intelligence for more than a decade, but he feels that after he became a father, the angle of view of this job has changed-in the original, it is more a product to mention a demand, they are only responsible for Complete; and now, they hope that this thing can really be useful and valuable.

Peng Shouye believes that this AI system can provide children with something he cannot provide as a father. He said: “One is the sense of confidence, no matter how the parents teach, they always look down. You think he is your child, and external encouragement can give him a different feeling. The second is companionship, there is such a virtual teacher and him A piece of study and growth, the richness of his heart, and his perspective on the world must also be different.”