Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Skip to Main Navigation

BBL: Emerging uses of AI in education, from the research lab into reality: Practical lessons and perspectives from HEADAI

Emerging uses of AI in education, from the research lab into reality:
Practical lessons and perspectives from HEADAI

August 30, 2018 | 10:30am-12:00pm | Room J7-044 | 701 18th Street NW, Washington DC


Dr. Harri Ketamo, Founder and Chairman, HEADAI 

Mike Trucano,  Global Lead for Technology & Innovation in Education, World Bank Group

There has been much hype about potential uses of artificial intelligence in education. But what do we know about practical applications of AI 'on the ground', and how are experiments in research labs starting to transition into applications 'in real life'?

HEADAI, an artificial intelligence company from Finland with roots in academia, applies big data and natural language processing to build tools to: help government and industry players map and predict changes in skills needs in local labor markets; inform curriculum development efforts linked to local labor market needs; equip individual learners with applications to help direct and guide their acquisition of micro-level skills that they need to develop to enhance their employability; and provide AI-constructed training for these micro-level skills using chatbots, which provide simple interfaces familiar to anyone who does a lot of texting on their phone.

Through specifics examples of the work of one specific organization, this presentation will discuss emerging application of AI in areas like labor market analysis (what skills are needed in the local economy, and who has these skills?); curriculum gap analysis (what knowledge and skills are needed by employers, and where are there related gaps in existing educational curricula?); and the assessment of skills and knowledge of individual students and workers.

More specifically, HEADAI builds tools that utilize AI to construct course curricula, curate content from open resources, deliver the course as adaptive, personalized learning, assess outcomes, and provide a related a grade. Because no manpower is needed -- it’s all 'done by the AI' -- the approach can provide access to non-formal education and training opportunities in ways and at a scale that would not previously have been possible.  Through the application of AI techniques, HEADAI seeks to mimic the process how people already analyze labor markets; design academic and training curricula; develop courses; guide learners through brief skills-building and knowledge-acquisition activities, lecture; and evaluate learning outcomes -- for individual learners, but >> at scale <<.

Key questions to be explored during this presentation include:

  • How AI can help the government conduct labor market analyses? 
  • How AI can help universities and vocational training institutions develop their curriculum in ways relevant to emerging labor market needs? 
  • How AI can help provide personalized learning opportunities, supplementing and extending existing skills-based training programs?
  • How are AI-powered chatbots offering new ways for students to access education and training resources?
  • How should we understand what AI can do, and not do, and what are some emerging ways of thinking about data (and algorithmic) bias, especially as they relate to education?

This BBL should be of specific interest to staff who work on labor market analyses and job training projects, TVET, curriculum development (including textbooks), assessment, and the use of ‘disruptive technologies’ more generally.

About the presenter:

Dr. Harri Ketamo is a successful entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience as a researcher of learning sciences, data mining and artificial intelligence. He leads a team of scientists targeting global impact on increasing work productivity and promoting wellbeing at HEADAI. Working to develop cognitive artificial intelligence and teachable software robots, the company seeks to produce highly versatile bots that can automate various everyday intellect jobs. Before HEADAI, Ketamo founded SkillPixels, a global gamified elementary school for mobile and tablet users, ranked in the top five apps for kids in the App Store in more 70 countries.

More information: