Quizlet, a tool that helps personalize studying for students, recently released a set of new AI-powered features.
Quizlet is one of many educational platforms embracing generative AI to facilitate learning, despite the dismay of teachers when ChatGPT first burst onto the scene. I no longer have reading assignments, but to get my job done, I have to read through tons of news articles, reports, and research papers pretty quickly. I was wondering: can I use Quizlet to make my job easier and test how much of my rhythm I really understand?
Oh man, it didn’t turn out well for me.
Quizlet launched several AI-powered tools on August 8. Memory Score schedules reviews and tracks scores to help users remember material. Quick summary takes key concepts from the readings. Brain Beats turns flashcards into songs, a far cry from the mnemonics you used as a kid to remember the order of operations. YQ Chat allows students to talk to a tutor with ChatGPT technology. Before adding generative AI, users had to manually add questions to custom flash cards and quick quizzes.
Quizlet Plus users, who pay $7.99 per month or $35.99 per year, have unlimited access to the new features.
Quizlet gave me early access to one of the features called Magic Notes. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t test the song generator.) Magic Notes allows users to upload or copy and paste text, and Quizlet summarizes it, then provides an outline, sample essay questions, creates flashcards, and even prepares a practice test. .
I decided to connect a story by the edge‘s Makena Kelly in Magic Notes. This story is frequently open in my browser, as I tend to link to it frequently, which means I’ve read it more times than I can count.
After pasting the story, Magic Notes generated a bulleted summary of the main ideas of the article. He offered me a sample essay to discuss the importance of AI companies investing in AI security, and then there was the practice test.
I got a solid D on the practice test, answering nine out of 15 questions correctly.
In my defense, some of these questions didn’t make sense. Quizlet offered me a list of terms with options for “definitions” and asked me to say if they matched. (Terms and definitions were sometimes, but not always, expressed in the form of a question, as in Danger.) For this one, he asked if the definition “Make it open source for researchers and most commercial use” matched the term “What is watermarking in the context of AI-generated content?”. Agree, strange phrase because it is not how I would define the watermark. The correct answer was: “What did Meta announce about its Llama 2 language model?” I’m sorry, but what?
Got a few questions to mostly make sense. Quizlet asked me to define AI voice assistants. The response options were “What is the importance of responsibility in AI?”, “What are the measures related to cybersecurity?”, “What is the concern regarding the fulfillment of AI commitments? ” and “What type of AI-generated content would not be covered by watermarking.” The correct answer is the last one This was a gimme.
Then, I put up one of my stories, thinking that I should do better because I wrote the thing, and I feel like I understand what I wrote. Somehow, Quizlet believed that the phrase “confidence building” was an actual term that he sought to define in the story. it isn’t. I just needed a synonym for “build trust”.
Quizlet says the technology isn’t foolproof and will occasionally return wrong or problematic answers, so be sure to continue to guide your child as they use the features. Quizlet built its new AI features with several generative models, including GPT-3.5.
The students were some of the early adopters of generative AI and ChatGPT. This caused panic among educators who worried that children would use the tools to cheat. School districts have banned access to ChatGPT. In May, New York rescinded its ban.
Since then, generative AI has become more ubiquitous. Like all other sectors, education-focused platforms want to take advantage. Quizlet isn’t the only kid-focused startup exploring generative AI for students. kids smartphone maker advertised pinwheel PinwheelGPT, basically ChatGPT for children with less complex vocabulary. Within higher education saying AI in education will grow to a $25 billion industry by 2030 from $2 billion in 2022.
magic notes did Do a good job of summarizing the article, and a news story may not be the best way to test a study guide. Some news summarize an event or talk about the company’s plans; not everything is defined. The news assumes that a reader already knows the context of which the stories speak.
So I put in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, mainly because I studied it in college a decade ago. Magic Notes did better, and more importantly, I did better on the practice quiz. The questions made sense. For example, who is the author of the sonnet? William Shakespeare, of course. What are the storms in the sonnet? Obstacles or turbulent times.
But the test still didn’t do well with the ambiguity. He asked me to choose the best definition to match the phrase “Love as an immutable and unbreakable force.” The two options were “What is the meaning of ‘marriage of true minds’?” and “What is the central theme of Sonnet 116?” I said that it was the marriage of two minds; the correct answer is the last one. That’s a valid answer, although I can argue why my choice was correct. But I specialize in literature and I believe that literature should be open to interpretation.
Quizlet is a tool for students to get an overview of the topics they discuss in class so that they have a quicker understanding of the material before a lesson. It is not a place to discuss the choice of nature and time as images and relate them to Shakespeare’s life. These questions were fine for that, but overall pretty basic.
I played around with Quizlet’s Magic Notes for a few days, continuing to paste in different texts, from abstracts to research papers to opinion pieces, with varying degrees of success. It’s not perfect, though I could see how students might find these AI-powered study tools useful. Break down concepts and save time reading denser material.
Then again, no one uses CliffsNotes anymore?