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The Integral role of Female Voices in Shaping the Development and Implementation of the Generative AI tutoring System

By equipping women with essential digital literacy and technical skills, these programs empower them to navigate the digital landscape, access new markets, and overcome barriers to economic participation.

Published onJun 13, 2024
The Integral role of Female Voices in Shaping the Development and Implementation of the Generative AI tutoring System

The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D), is a center for academic  scholarship, research, and policy analysis on access to knowledge for development in Egypt and  the Arab world. A2K4D encourages multi-disciplinary research to deepen our understanding and  explore the legal, economic, political, and social challenges confronting access in Egypt and the  region. We were invited to one of their webinars, which they hosted as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Hub of the Feminist AI Research Network. The webinar featured Dr. Marwa  Soudi, a FAIR project grantee, who discussed her research paper titled ‘Empowering Education: Exploring Generative AI-Based Tutoring Systems for Upper Egypt Community Schools’.

This webinar demonstrated  that AI technologies have emerged as a possible tool for  educational  enhancement. Among these innovations, the implantation of explainable AI-based tutoring  systems can provide a beacon of hope in terms of quality of education enhancement. This  reflection goes through the transformative potential of such systems, and explains their role in  bridging knowledge imbalance and empowering students in underprivileged communities, which are substantial in Egypt. So, it's very interesting and exciting to envision a future where  education is not just accessible, but easily comprehensible and enriching for all.

As I reflect on the discussions and insights shared during the presentation, several key  points and observations stand out. One of the most noticeable aspects highlighted was the integral role of female voices in shaping the development and implementation of the generative  AI tutoring system. Recognizing the importance of inclusivity, the project emphasized the need  for diverse perspectives to ensure that the system provides for the unique needs and challenges  faced by the community, particularly by underprivileged students and females seeking to  contribute to their education.

At the core of the initiative is the Gen-AI tutoring system, carefully made and designed to  address the educational challenges common in community schools of Upper Egypt. By using  human-centered AI principles, the project aims to enhance the learning experience while  empowering both teachers and students. Through extensive research and collaboration with local  NGOs and educators, the team gained very helpful insights into the specific requirements and  preferences of the community, making the way for a more personalized and effective learning  environment.

The presentation given by Dr. Marwa explained the impact of the tutoring system,  particularly in addressing the shortage of qualified teachers and boosting traditional teaching  methods. By seamlessly integrating technology into the learning process, the project not only  makes access to quality education easier, but also encourages teacher-student interaction,  emphasizing the irreplaceable role of human guidance in the educational journey. A key  innovation talked about during the webinar was the transformation of text into engaging video lessons, offering a dynamic and visually appealing approach to learning. This not only enhances  comprehension but also reduces the burden on teachers, allowing them to focus on helping and  supporting students who need more attention and have specific learning needs since some  students are fast learners and others are slow learners. It also helps teachers with no design  background in helping the students understand easily.

Yet,  the discussion also touched upon some challenges, such as the need for  sufficient resources and infrastructure, particularly in areas with limited internet access. However,  it turns out that in Asyut they have some resources there, tablets, WI-FI, and a projector. So they  do have some resources that can be utilized. Nevertheless, the project team remains optimistic  about the potential of technology to overcome such obstacles, emphasizing the importance of  human intervention in guiding and optimizing the use of technology for educational purposes.

This webinar topic resonates a lot with my research  about the impact of digital  skills training programs on female entrepreneurship in developing countries. Just as the webinar  highlighted the essential role of female voices in shaping educational initiatives, digital skills  training programs offer a pathway for women to harness the transformative potential of  technology in entrepreneurial endeavors. By equipping women with essential digital literacy and  technical skills, these programs empower them to navigate the digital landscape, access new  markets, and overcome barriers to economic participation. Moreover, the emphasis on human-centered approaches in both contexts emphasizes the importance of tailoring  interventions to the specific needs and challenges faced by women in underprivileged  communities. 

As we try to bridge the digital divide and promote gender equality, initiatives like AI-based tutoring systems and digital skills training programs serve as potential tools for  empowering women, helping them to unlock their entrepreneurial potential, and encouraging inclusive  economic growth.

In conclusion, the webinar provided a glimpse into the transformative power of AI-based  tutoring systems in advancing education and reducing inequalities in under-resourced  communities. By prioritizing human values and experiences, this innovative approach serves as a  hope and motivation for achieving the global goals of quality education, reduced inequalities,  eradication of poverty, and gender equality. Moreover, the connection between the webinar's  insights and the impact of digital skills training programs on female entrepreneurship in  developing countries underscores the linkage of education and economic empowerment. 

Just as AI-based tutoring systems enable inclusive learning opportunities, digital skills training  programs offer women in these regions the tools and knowledge to thrive as entrepreneurs in the  digital economy. As the project continues to progress everyday, it can inspire people worldwide  that have similar problems, and this can be a new era of inclusive and empowering education and  entrepreneurship for all.


Mariam AbdelWahab is based in Cairo, Egypt. She is studying Economics at the American University of Cairo (Class of 2025). 

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