When spreading like Wildfire can be a good thing! (Using AI for faster, better learning.)

We heard recently that one of our projects, Wildfire, has won an award as part of the edtech start-up competition at Jisc’s annual Digifest event.  The competition aimed to find and support innovative tech solutions to improve education, research and student life.

The award gives Wildfire access to an intensive business accelerator programme and a support package to the value of £20,000.  This will enable them to develop their business and deliver a fully-fledged product to UK education.  Entrants to the edtech startup competition had a panel interview and made a pitch to Digifest attendees, who could vote for their favourite startup on the event app.  The winner was chosen based on that vote and the interview and Wildfire were delighted to win the popular vote!  This is the second award already this year for Wildfire who also picked up the Bronze Award for ‘Most innovative new learning technologies product – UK’ at Learning Technologies 2017.

This project demonstrates the impact that AI can have on vocational learning and it’s great to see it attracting such attention.  Wildfire’s AI content production tool creates online content in minutes not months.  By combining cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and specific techniques drawn from recent cognitive science research, this new tool can produce effective e-learning content automatically from documents, PowerPoint or video in minutes.  It creates high-retention content in ‘real time’ - and generate follow up ‘fill in the blank’ activities instantly. Automatically generated links to Wikipedia pages and other external resources (such as You Tube) adapt and enhance the learning journey based on learner selections. Wildfire’s design uses recent academic work on active 'effortful' learning, retention and recall to ensure an active and memorable learning experience - with effective learning outcomes.

Wildfire hugely reduces the normal cost and lead times for generating e-learning resources.  This starts to meet the challenge of delivering technical learning quickly, in an engaging way, in bite sized chunks and on the move for field based staff with a truly revolutionary content creation tool.  Ufi is delighted to see this application of AI to new learning tools, with its potential to bring more learning to more people, more of the time.  We believe that there is huge scope for using this technology to widen access to and improve delivery of vocational learning and we anticipate seeing many more applications for uses of AI in our future funding rounds.