Ped Day 2021 – AI in Education: The Promise and the Peril

Presenters: Andrew Katz (English), Michel Fournier-Simard (Political Science), Kasia Wolfson (Anthropology), Sarah Allen (Humanities/Philosophy), Robert Stephens (Humanities/Philosophy & DawsonAI Teaching CoP Lead), Myriam Dimanche (DawsonAI Project Coordinator)

Abstract: We will discuss some current and near-future trends involving the impact A.I. and machine learning technology will likely have on the College classroom, in terms of both the pedagogical opportunities afforded by technological breakthroughs, and the challenges that will need to be addressed. We will examine useful tools for teachers and learners, such as A.I.-assisted transcription, composition, and research applications, and discuss the ways in which these and other developing tech platforms will demand increased attention to the integration of data literacy and critical thinking skills to course outcomes.

Slides: PowerPoint (updated 2021-12-15)

Date: October 15, 2021


Reworking The World’s Education with Personalized AI Tutors

Presenter: Iulian Vlad Serban, Ph.D. (CEO of Korbit Technologies)

Abstract: Korbit is a startup working to transform education with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Korbit’s bold mission is to democratize education by providing a high-quality, personalized, and active learning experience for millions around the world at low cost, anytime and anywhere.

Korbit is developing a real-time intelligent tutor – a so-called personalized AI tutor. The tutor personalizes the curriculum for each learner and adapts itself to the learner’s needs while providing real-time targeted pedagogical support (such as feedback, definitions, explanations, examples, and illustrations). This new technology has proven to be highly effective in multiple cohort studies. In a head-to-head study comparing Korbit against a big online learning platform, Korbit students achieved 70% better learning outcomes in only 3 hours. Korbit was founded by AI researchers from the Mila Research Laboratory and Cambridge University, and has won multiple awards including the “Best Solution During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (EnlightenED Awards), and the “Emerging Entrepreneurs” award (C2 Montreal). Korbit has helped to teach over 15,000 students and professionals to date. Although it is early days for the young startup and its nascent technology, the potential to make learning truly personalized and active for millions is massive.

In this talk, Iulian Serban will introduce Korbit, discuss the startup’s journey, show what personalized AI tutors are all about, discuss how they are being used at Dawson College and elsewhere, and provide his perspective on how they are going to transform education in the near future.

Date: May 7, 2021


The Hazards of Using Big Data

Presenter: Dan Pomerantz (Computer Science, Dawson College)

Bio: Dan Pomerantz is a faculty member in the Computer Science department at Dawson College. As a Dawson.AI Teaching Fellow, he developed course material related to the ethics of AI. Before joining Dawson, Dan was a lecturer in the Computer Science department at McGill University and subsequently a software developer engineer at Microsoft.

Date: April 14, 2021


Concepts in AI Algorithms

Presenter: Garry Ka Lok Chu (Mathematics, Dawson College)

Abstract: Do you know how machines sort emails?  Can Toffoli score in his next NHL game? Is there any ethical issue in AI algorithms?  We will explore these AI concepts together in this talk.

Date: March 12, 2021


Concordia Institute for Co-operative Education’s 40th Anniversary

Title: How AI and the digital revolution will change the recruitment landscape

Moderator: Claude Martel (Director of the Institute for Co-operative Education, Concordia University)

Presenters: Joel Trudeau (DawsonAI Project Lead, Dawson College); Dr. Carolyn Hass (Vice President, Product and R&D, Success Finder); Antoine Riachi (Co-founder & Lead of R&D, Valital Technologies)

Abstract: What to expect in the talent searches of the future.

Date: March 11, 2021


DawsonAI 2020 Speaker Series

Title: Applications of machine learning in education

Presenter: Sameer Bhatnagar (Physics teacher, Dawson College)

Abstract: This talk will be a brief overview of how Machine Learning techniques are applied to different systems in education. Latent Skill Estimation, Automatic Essay Scoring, Personalized Content Recommendation and Feedback, Early Identification of Students at Risk: these are all examples of how some core ML techniques are being used at scale today in different learning platforms.

Date: November 13, 2020


Title: What is AI and how can it be used for good?

Presenter: Charles C. Onu (Machine Learning Researcher & Vanier Doctoral Scholar, Mila & McGill University)

Abstract: Hearing the words “artificial intelligence” has almost become a daily occurrence. What really does the pursuit of artificial intelligence involve? What does it mean to build AI? How can this play an important role in social good, and specifically, in providing access to healthcare for millions? We will answer these questions during this talk.

Date: November 11, 2020


Title: Bible-Quran Link: Using AI to Promote Religious Tolerance

Presenter: Ahmad Banki (Economics Teacher, Dawson College)

Abstract: In this talk, Ahmad Banki will discuss how a comparative study of religious scriptures can be powered by AI and can help raise the level of religious tolerance. Ahmad will give us a glimpse of his work to develop a comprehensive map that links verses of the Quran to their equivalents in the Bible. The purpose of this map is to show how much similarity there is between these two religions.

Date: November 10, 2020


Ped Day 2020

Title:  Can Essays Written by AI Systems Be the Next Great Cheat Code?

Presenters: Cheryl Simon, Carl Saucier-Bouffard, Gregory Polakoff, Charles Le Guen, Daniel Pomerantz

Description:  Intelligent authoring systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated. The texts they generate are no longer tantamount to gibberish – rather, they can produce essays that rival that of college students in both quality of sentence structure and grasp of the topic at hand. In this session, participants will learn about the history of text-generating AI systems as well as what this means for them as they grade take-home essays, both today and in the future.

Date: October 14, 2020


Title: Are AI-Powered Exam Proctoring Systems the Answer We Have Been Waiting For?

Presenters: Jennifer Sigouin, Vanessa Gordon, Garry Chu, Carl Saucier-Bouffard, and Ahmad Banki

Description: To what extent can we detect and prevent cheating in exams through remote AI proctors? In this session, we will explore what is currently available, past experiences, and potentials for the future. We will highlight the practical and ethical concerns around monitoring students physically, as well as tracking their private data. We will also explore some alternatives to reduce cheating in exams.

Date: October 14, 2020


Dawson College – 50th Anniversary Talks

Title: Reimagining Education

Presenter: Prof. Ollivier Dyens

Date: 2018


Title: Education on the Edge of the Technological Singularity

Moderator: Sameer Bhatnagar

Panelists: Abhishek Gupta, Zhenglin Xiong, François Paradis, Sahir Bhatnagar

Date: 2018


Last Modified: December 16, 2021