China’s schools use AI to grade essays

According to the South China Morning Post, 60,000 schools in China are testing an artificial intelligence (AI) system that scores students’ work automatically.

The 10-year-old AI, which reads English and Chinese, has marked around 120 million pupils’ essays, highlighting stylistic, structural an thematic areas that need improvement.

The machine learning powered system consists of algorithms to “compare notes” with human teachers’ scores and comments, and around 92% of the time, agrees with the teachers marking scores.

Grading inconsistencies

The project has been developed to minimise grading inconsistencies, improve the writing skills of students’ in remote areas of the country, and cut down the amount of time teachers spend scoring essays.

Scientists insist the technology is designed to assist, not replace, teachers.

In the majority of schools, test results were strictly classified, pupils’ were unaware their work had been scored and read by a machine, and parents’ were not informed about the marking system.

The team responsible for designing the software has also contributed to surveillance programmes for the Chinese government and military.

Written by Leah Alger