Sal Khan, founder, and CEO of Khan Academy, is working on transforming GPT into a tutor. Khan Academy is testing a carefully managed version of OpenAI’s GPT, aiming to guide students in their studies rather than facilitating cheating.
The software is currently being piloted in a few schools and districts, with plans for a wider beta release in the near future. Khan’s approach is unique because it provides answers to students’ questions without simply giving away the solutions.
“I strive to be at the cutting edge of how AI, especially large language models, can be integrated to actually solve real problems in education,” Khan says.
The software integrates with Khan Academy’s existing videos and exercises. In a demonstration, Khan showcased how the chatbot, named Khanmigo, can assist students with math problems, debug code, engage in debates, and even converse in the voices of literary characters like Hamlet and Jay Gatsby.
Last June, Khan received an introductory email from Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, CEO and president of OpenAI, respectively. They offered a private demo of the AI software, impressing Khan with its intelligent ability to answer questions related to various academic subjects.
Intrigued, Khan began experimenting with prompts to the software, exploring its potential as an educational tool during late-night sessions.
“I was pulling all-nighters, getting it to act like a tutor, getting it to take on different personas, getting it to develop lesson plans,” he says.
The chatbot’s capabilities extend to various subjects, from math to programming. In fact, it can identify coding issues faster than most human instructors, making it particularly valuable for students lacking access to coding experts. Khanmigo doesn’t just offer solutions but prompts students in the right direction, fostering a deeper understanding of the concepts.
To ensure ethical usage, an additional AI monitors conversations to prevent inappropriate behavior. If detected, the system promptly notifies parents and teachers while terminating the interaction. This proactive approach ensures a safe and productive learning environment.
“We’ve prompted our way so that Khanmigo has a humility about it,” Khan says. “It actually doesn’t just say ‘You’re wrong,’ it says ‘That’s not what I got, can you explain your reasoning?’”
Khan Academy plans to make Khanmigo more widely available in the coming months. Interested individuals can join a waitlist, with selected participants asked to contribute a minimum monthly donation of $20. Pricing details for individuals and school systems are still being determined, considering potential philanthropic funding and membership programs.
“Rest assured that bringing down this cost and making Khanmigo more accessible to a broader audience is something that everyone on the team wants to happen,” the company explains in its FAQ.
Looking ahead, Khan Academy envisions enhanced versions of Khanmigo with features like long-term memory for user interactions, feedback on student writing, and the ability to facilitate multiuser interactions, such as moderating debates. Eventually, the chat interface could become the primary means of interacting with Khan Academy, revolutionizing the way people engage with online education.
“I think it dramatically transforms what Khan Academy is going to become,” Khan added.,