Intelligent Textbook Created to Answer Your QuestionsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 9, 2012 05:59PM
Occasionally when reading some text, whether it be a textbook, research paper, or even some science news items, you will find a section you cannot understand. This could be for any number of reasons, but always it seems like it would make sense if it was just written a little differently or had more information. Now with the still evolving technologies of artificial intelligence and electronic books, it is becoming possible for students to ask a book to explain something better.
Inquire is the first intelligent textbook ever developed and it was done so by the company Vulcan. It is a digitized form of Campbell Biology with a map of some 5000 concepts built in so it can answer the questions you ask it. If a section is hard to read but you do not know what to ask to make it clear, the iPad app will also provide you with some questions.
Though Inquire is only half done, it has already been tested by students and got quite positive results. After studying for 60 minutes, doing 90 minutes of homework, and taking a 20 minute quiz, the students that used Inquire scored an average of a letter grade higher. Sadly we cannot be sure if we will see many other textbooks remade this way as it requires a great deal of effort from professionals in the appropriate field. Still, if Inquire proves successful there will be many other companies and schools looking into it and similar technologies.