Watson implementation delayed at Lima schools

Artificial intelligence system won’t be ready until next school year

By Sam Shriver - sshriver@limanews.com

LIMA — The Lima schools foray into implementing artificial intelligence into the classroom is progressing slower than expected.

Lima Superintendent Jill Ackerman informed the school board about the latest problems in implementing the system that is aimed at helping teachers better track students and their progress.

“Office Depot and IBM have a partnership for the artificial intelligence program of Watson, and Office Depot has withdrawn themselves from the implementation phase of the Watson process. So we had a meeting with IBM on Friday, and they have rapidly picked up where Office Depot left off, and gosh, they even got a lot of stuff done today. So we’re excited. We only had a couple of glitches with a couple of vendors in getting data in, and they’re already taking care of it. So I anticipate that things will move much more rapidly now and we’ll be up and running sooner rather than later,” said Ackerman.

“My real hope was to have the middle school up and running by the first of the year and then adding in the high school and the elementary school and have everybody up by the end of the year, but that was probably a lofty vision to have. So our best hope right now will be that everybody is up and running by the beginning of the school year,” she said.

Ideally, Watson will be a big help in the educational process.

“What this artificial intelligence program will do for our teachers is give them a snapshot of every child in their classroom right at their fingertips. So they’ll be able to know before they even teach a lesson which students will struggle with standards. They’ll know how students are doing across the board in all classes. They’ll be able to have insights on kids knowing, even personal things about them — if they had a great soccer game the night before, if they had been ill, they’ll be able to see attendance, everything will be at their fingertips. What Watson does is Watson does the research and provides them the interventions that it would recommend they use to try to get the kids to master the standards,” said Ackerman.

Artificial intelligence system won’t be ready until next school year

By Sam Shriver


Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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