A Is for AI: Sesame Workshop and IBM Offer Peek at Watson-Powered Vocabulary App

A IS FOR AI: Most children say “spider” when they see one. Sesame Workshop claims its can teach kids to also recognize their scientific family order: arachnids. Last year the team behind Sesame Street announced a partnership with IBM to develop educational tools powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Today the pair is offering a sneak peek at its first creation: an app, featuring Sesame Street characters, that can analyze a child’s reading level and provide the appropriate content to boost their vocabulary knowledge.

The app has been piloted with more than 150 kindergarten students in six classrooms at Gwinnett County public schools in Georgia. Sesame Workshop tells EdSurge via email that it plans to release it to the public sometime in 2018 but has not determined the price. It aims to allow teachers to customize the app by choosing specific focus vocabulary areas. An expanded pilot involving other schools is expected to start this fall.

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