Sparking Conversations Around AI and Technology!

6 February 2024 - kathmandu

By Melina Tuladhar and Denjing Tamang 

As the OpenAI let the public begin tinkering with ChatGPT in 2022, the use of Artificial Intelligence has rapidly increased for all sorts of tasks, from composing emails to sprucing up resumes to even creating a six-figure business. Globally, the majority of academicians have already started to take leverage of such technology to make learning more adaptive and fruitful. With the goal of the intersection of Education Technology (EdTech) and Artificial intelligence (AI) in the Education System, the Mini-Edtech AI Conference (a pre-event of the Robotics and AI Conference “AI for Prosperous Nepal”) was organized on January 7, 2024, by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [MoEST], Premier International IB Continuum School, and Robotics Association of Nepal[RAN]. The conference was held on the premises of Premier International IB Continuum School, Khumaltar Height, Lalitpur, Nepal.

Picture Credit: Premier International IB Continuum School

The program opened with inspiring remarks from Ms. Pravina Thapa, Academic Director, Premier International IB Continuum School and Er. Bikash Gurung, Robotics Association of Nepal[RAN] mentioned the ongoing workshop with the collaboration of the Robotics Association of Nepal[RAN]. The Keynote Speaker, Mr Indu Bikram Joshi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology[MoEST], presented the presentation “Strategic Approach for AI application in Nepal” which included AI programming principle, AI readiness index, Formulation of Policy and Strategy, Digital Nepal Framework 2019 highlighting the role of government, academic institutions and the private sector.

It was wonderful to hear from Er. Rishav Raj, Manager, Robotics Association of Nepal[RAN], Mr. Jerry Tan, CEO, Lattel Robotics,  Er. Punit Jadojia, Co-Founder, Programiz and Er. Kshitiz Rimal, Founder, Next of AI presented covering the latest trends, innovations and applications of AI in education. The adaptation of AI to give one-on-one learning (personalized learning) used by Khan Academy and Brainly was also mentioned. Not only the advantages but also the limitations of AI were discussed such as Hallucinations, Language limitations, Accessibility to technology and much more.

The panel discussion comprised Mr Sushil Upreti, Leader, Google Education Group, Mr Sandeep Sharma, Principal, Adhyayan School, Mr Alok Khatri, Data Scientist & Teacher, Kings’ College, Er. Sijan Shrestha, Sr. ML Engineer,  Fusemachines Nepal and Dr. Nastaran Zadeh, Mechatronics and Robotics Society of the Philippines moderated by Er. Deepak Bist President,  Robotics Association of Nepal[RAN] Farwest. During the panel discussion, major important topics which were discussed were digital literacy, information literacy and AI literacy, AI-powered Personalized learning (to make it more accessible), training the trainers to leverage AI tools, How to embed human character such as empathy when fully dependent on Artificial Intelligence (Emotional Intelligence vs Artificial Intelligence) and Baseline Data For AI. Special guest, Dr. Rabindra Pd. Dhakal, Secretary, Neof pal Academy of Science and Technology[NAST],  gave a supportive speech on technology covering its importance in global competitiveness. In closing remarks Er. Santosh Sharma, Under-Secretary (Technical),  Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ended the conference with “Education for AI and in AI”.

It was an inspiring and refreshing experience to be able to meet and engage with different ecosystem players in the innovation environment. These conversations help build a foundational step toward future AI and education cooperation in Nepal to enhance its awareness and foster innovation in various sectors. These relationships provide possibilities for joint ventures, partnerships, or information exchange. Adopting AI and EdTech could propel Nepal’s economy by promoting investment in technology-driven solutions, entrepreneurship, and creativity. Nepal can generate new job opportunities and stimulate economic growth by fostering a vibrant ecosystem of startups, research institutes, and tech enterprises specializing in artificial intelligence and education technology. Access, equity, and quality issues in education can be addressed with the use of AI and EdTech, especially in Nepal’s underprivileged and isolated communities. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, including AI-powered educational resources, adaptive learning systems, and online learning platforms, Nepal can increase access to high-quality education and encourage possibilities for lifelong learning for all of its residents.