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'Virtual tutor': Alloprof relies on artificial intelligence to help students in Quebec

'Virtual tutor': Alloprof relies on artificial intelligence to help students in Quebec

Alloprof is preparing to launch AlloFlo, a conversational agent that, thanks to artificial intelligence, acts as a “virtual tutor” for primary and secondary students. The organization hopes that its new tool, which is still under testing, will help support teachers in some of their tasks.

The AlloFlo conversational agent was developed in recent months by the Google Cloud platform and Montreal company Moov AI. It aims to help students overcome the academic difficulties they face through dialogue with them in writing, in the form of questions and answers.

“It happens that a student has a question and there are no other students or teachers to answer it. A tool like AlloFlo never leaves a student alone. We want them to be able to get personal help in Any time and this assistance must be immediate.”

Until now, willing Quebec students could find explanations for their answers on the Alloprof website, in particular by contacting a tutor affiliated with the organization or in the support area.

With AlloFlo, a student will soon be able to go to the institution's website and open the file Chat bot To ask your question, regardless of the topic. The conversational agent will use digital educational content designed by Alloprof specialists to answer the question by providing a summary of the material and inviting them to review the paper in question. Thus, the chatbot will be able to automatically understand the user's intentions and quickly find the most relevant answers for the student, according to the explanations on the Alloprof website.

“We don't just want to provide an answer, we want to support, help them understand. If we can provide an intelligent, motivated, caring and fair agent who is able to respond appropriately to the student's basic educational needs, then that is a huge success for us,” he adds.

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Support teachers

While the district is affected by a teacher shortage, the AlloFlo virtual teacher could be part of the solution, Mr. Bellone says.

“What we see is that we have almost a million students in Quebec, and we will never have enough teachers to answer a million questions at the same time. In our naive idea, we would like to be able to allow every student to have their own teacher,” he says. “This is a need that clearly exists.”

Launching in June

The organization must finish creating the tool and ensure the reliability of the product. Everything should be officially put online next June.

“We have to ensure accuracy. There are certain issues, among other things, related to how the mathematics is presented. Because for machines from 1 to 23, it can look like 1-2-3 if we display it wrong, so we are finalizing ensuring Quality is the latter. “We really don't want to mislead the student,” Mr. Bellone adds.

Last year, 550,000 students benefited from Alloprof's support services, according to the organisation's figures. “Now we want to move to the next step,” he says.