Ametros Learning: Optimizing Large Language Learning Models for Enhancing Experiential Learning
TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / January 30, 2023 / The launch of a chatbot named ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022 has been a topic of hot discussion in the education world. ChatGPT uses a generative AI architecture referred to as a "large language model". When given simple prompts, ChatGPT is able to produce high quality essays and other writing assignments in mere seconds. Traditionally, students are given writing assignments to test their critical thinking skills and educators fear the chatbot will do the work for the student. In fact, schools in New York City have already banned ChatGPT across all devices and networks in the New York public school system. It is against this backdrop that Ametros Learning, a small Toronto-based company is using large language model-based AI to change how critical thinking through communication is taught and learned.
Ametros Learning, founded in 2016 by former BlackBerry executive, Cathy Pillar and Toronto Metropolitan University Associate Professor, Dr. Robert Clapperton, has been working with large language models for the past 18 months to develop virtual communication-based experiential learning and assessment. These modules allow learners to develop essential skills through practice and experience by placing them in simulated "real world" situations. Learners interact with AI-powered clients, co-workers, supervisors and other characters to solve problems and complete projects. According to CEO, Cathy Pillar, "we use human to machine communication to improve human to human communication skills. Learners are placed in the kinds of challenging and difficult situations they will face in the professional world. They have to think critically and communicate their ideas to characters who act as real people do - they accept strong arguments, reject weak ones, at times freely give information, and at others hold things back. Learners experience what it is like to have an idea challenged in a safe, and risk free environment".
Nearly 86% of the employers participating in The Job Outlook 2022 Survey conducted by NACE (National association of Colleges and Employers) said skills like problem solving, teamwork, time management, critical thinking, innovation and creativity were highly important when it came to selecting candidates for full-time jobs and internships. But many recent college graduates lack these skills as they are challenging to integrate into college curriculum. These skills are best learned through experience and practice. This is the gap that Ametros is seeking to fill through its range of customized and off the shelf AI-powered practice-based learning modules that are developed in collaboration with academic and industry subject matter experts.
Co-founder and Research and Development lead for Ametros, Dr. Robert Clapperton stated "what keeps me up at night, is that large language models are going to fundamentally alter how we teach and assess critical thinking and problem solving skills. Assigning a 2000 word essay as a way to evaluate a student's ability to express their ideas will no longer be effective. At Ametros, we are developing new paradigms of teaching and evaluation - we ask students to situationally demonstrate thinking and communication in safe fictional settings. The simulated and fictional nature of the experience makes it very difficult for the student to use tools like ChatGPT to express their ideas".
Concluded Cathy, "It is not the technology itself that is problematic. We need to figure out how to effectively and ethically use it. These new AI platforms have made it possible for us to produce scalable, measurable and massively complex interactions that support the development of essential, people-based skills like communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership and emotional intelligence".
Over the past six years, Ametros Learning has developed more that 175 modules for more than 50,000 learners, in the academic and corporate market.
About Ametros Learning
Through the firm's online platform, Ametros Learning delivers modules that have been specially developed to help learners hone their soft skills through experiential and interactive learning. The modules comprise replication of real-life scenarios in a virtual environment where students can safely make mistakes in a supportive environment and get appropriate feedback. The platform encourages reflection and provides multi-layered, real-time assessment and feedback in a contextually authentic environment.
Name: Cathy Pillar
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