K-12 Artificial Intelligence Market Set to Explode in U.S. and Worldwide by 2024

Associate Editor

The use of artificial intelligence in education is expected to explode to a worldwide market value of $6 billion over the next six years, with about 20 percent of that growth coming from applications for U.S. K-12 classrooms and consumers, according to a report by Global Market Insights.

In fact, the U.S. education market combined—consisting of K-12, higher education and corporate training—represents more than half of that anticipated growth, reaching about $3.4 billion by 2024. Of that, about $1.2 billion is expected to come from K-12 uses, the Selbyville, Del.-based market research firm indicated. [See bar chart below.]

Source: Global Market Insights, Inc.
Source: Global Market Insights, Inc.

That’s a far cry from where the nascent industry started. In 2017, artificial intelligence—broadly defined as the attempt to simulate intelligent behavior in computers that is similar to the functions of human behavior—accounted for more than $400 million among all education segments worldwide, including higher education and corporate training purposes, according to the study.

To establish the market size, the company analyzed the adoption rate of ed-tech solutions among K-12 schools and individual consumers. Educational institutions are responsible for most of the market, the company said in an email.

AI is expected to gain the most traction with what the company calls a “deep learning model” at an anticipated 52 percent compound annual growth rate. In this use, AI helps teachers understand their students better and motivate them, with the goal of creating a collaborative, team-based learning environment for students and their instructors.

Another anticipated growth area is the “domain model,” informing how students learn subjects like science and math, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 60 percent until 2024. In this use, students acquire knowledge of a subject and the AI returns data about what they are learning to personalize the delivery of content.

The report also looks at what is working against the adoption of AI, including  “the high cost of deployment” and lack of a skilled workforce, the report’s authors wrote. “These systems are expensive to develop and implement,” the study said, which also cited ensuring data security as an issue the industry must address.

Key Players in AI for Education

The largest technology companies are staking a claim in artificial intelligence, as Global Market Insights indicated in its report. These include IBMAmazon Web ServicesMicrosoft, and Google. For instance, IBM’s Watson Education, an artificial intelligence platform that uses data trends to provide insights to teachers and students, recently announced that it is partnering with Edmodo and Scholastic in an effort meant to personalize learning. Google has incorporated AI and machine learning into most of its products.

“Rarely [do we release] a product that doesn’t contain some style of machine learning algorithm in it,” Jonathan Rochelle, Google’s product management director for Google Apps for Education and other collaborative web products at Google, said at a recent conference for education businesses. He suggested businesses visit a Google site to learn more from Google’s machine learning experts.

“What will the impact of AI mean to education?” he asked at the conference of the Education Technology Industry Network, a division of the Software & Information Industry Network. “It’s here and you’re using it.”

Global Market Insights identified other key players in the market as Nuance, Century Tech, Blackboard, Pearson, Cognii, Volley, Blippar, Knewton, Jenzabar, Content Technologies, Pixatel Systems and Quantum Adaptive Learning. The consumer market is mainly focused on free mobile applications such as BrainlyBYJU’sLuilishuo and PleIQ, according to the company.

The leader of one of these companies believes that the Global Market Insights report might be too conservative in its assumptions about the future market growth. Dee Kanejiya, founder and CEO of Cognii, said he was not interviewed for this report, nor is he a client of the company that produced it.

Founded in 2013, Cognii is a company that offers an AI-based virtual tutor and grading tool for short essays that has had most of its success in the higher education market. But Kanejiya sees the summative assessment market as offering the potential for future growth. He was invited to explain the essay-scoring technology offered by his Boston-based company at a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, for instance.

He is making presentations like these, he said, in hopes of “warming up” the K-12 market to his AI solution.

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