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Spin-off Developing a Learning App for Global Learning Challenge

Spin-off Developing a Learning App for Global Learning Challenge
Friday, 13 October 2017

One of the finalists in the Global Learning XPRIZE is the spin-off RoboTutor LLC from Carnegie Mellon University [1]. In order to combat a lack of teachers, the Global Learning XPRIZE is challenging teams to develop technology-based tools. The final product should be able to help children in developing countries to self-teach basic reading, writing and arithmetic—all within 15 months [2] .

Five finalists received $1 million in order to continue working on its software while it is simultaneously being tested in the field. The team creating the best product will be awarded a $10 million grand prize. The funding is provided by Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. [1] Nearly 200 teams from 40 different countries participated in the initial call for projects [3].

The RoboTutor team is made up of more than 100 Carnegie Mellon University students, faculty members, and other experts world-wide [1]. The spin-off was created by a Professor at the university, Jack Mostow, who has been researching this kind of technology for over 25 years in order to improve student learning while supporting new discoveries in learning sciences [3].

Some of the technology included in this teams learning app include speech and handwriting recognition, facial analysis, and machine learning [4]. The technology is based on previous projects by the RoboTutor team such as Project LISTEN where an automated Reading Tutor would correct students reading errors as they read aloud [3].