Pearson is concentrating efforts in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) and has hired a former Intel executive, Milena Marinova, to be its senior vice president for AI products and solutions. The appointment has been described as "first of its kind" for the education industry.
Marinova, who was previously senior director of AI Solutions for Intel's Artificial Intelligence Products Group, will act as a spokesperson for the role of AI in education while spearheading "the digital and AI transformation of Pearson".
At Intel, Marinova led the development for commercial applications of AI across various industries, including Internet of Things, robotics and AR/VR, and advised Intel Capital on investments in these areas. She also previously held executive roles at Idealab, a startup incubator, and Hyundai Capital America.
At Pearson she will be focused on "exploring and applying existing and new technologies in artificial intelligence, machine learning, including deep and reinforcement learning, as well as data analytics and personalized learning into current and future products and services", the company said.
Examples of Pearson's use of AI to date includes the development of feedback capabilities for marking complex mathematical activities, automated essay scoring, and working with partners to integrate AI capabilities into English language learning in China, as well as incorporating a virtual tutor into products in the US.
However Marinova said there were untapped opportunities within education where it could draw on digital and advanced AI techniques to the benefit of teachers and learners.
"Unlike other sectors, education is yet to fully realize the benefits of digital and advanced AI techniques, and there are great opportunities to improve learning outcomes and to enable better teaching,” she said. “Pearson is committed to transforming the learning experience and becoming the digital winner in education. As a strong believer in lifelong learning, I want to contribute and be a key part in that journey.”
Tim Bozik, global head of product at Pearson, commented: "We have the opportunity to use technology to help shape the future of education in new ways for the next generation of learners, helping more students foster the knowledge and skills they need to succeed both in school and their careers.
"Milena is an extraordinary talent and brings vast experience to our team. She will play an important role in this work and in continuing the digital and AI transformation of Pearson."