YJ Jang, CEO
As an emerging technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the future of education by customizing study material based on each student’s level of learning ability, aptitude, and preferred mode rather than creating a single course for all students. Unlike human tutors, AI-based solutions are available 24/7 across platforms and can learn to deal with a variety of student queries—tirelessly. Adding to the benefits, the adoption of AI also replaces hard copy textbooks contributing to a paperless world. In fact, by 2021, the use of AI in the global education market will grow by 47.5 percent as per a study by Research and Markets. Taking the lead in this era of AI-based education is Riiid that has developed a state-of-the-art deep learning AI technology solution to deliver a superior learning experience to democratize equalization of educational opportunity in true sense. Based on deep learning and machine learning technology, Riiid has developed Santa TOEIC, an AI tutor, designed for TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) test prepping students. TOEIC is a must-take English proficiency test for most of job applicants in Korea as a total number of test takers exceeds two million every year. By offering a differentiated and individualized learning approach, Riiid’s solution empowers students to significantly boost their scores. “Riiid is leading the paradigm shift of education from an industry driven by marketing, content, and people, to one that is powered by technology,” says YJ Jang, CEO of Riiid.
"Riiid is leading the paradigm shift of education from an industry driven by marketing, content, and people, to one that is powered by technology"
Today’s adaptive learning technology leverages rule-based algorithms that require domain-specific experts to define a set of rules to create content for students. Here, the content developed is static and does not evolve as per individual student’s learning need in real-time. For instance, if a student is weak in a particular area, the technology does not immediately change the content to boost his learning until the expert defines a rule to address the issue. Besides, the rules defined by experts arepurely based on human intuition and experience that may not necessarily help boost students’ test score or motivate them to perform better. For developing a rule-based adaptive learning solution, institutions need to find the right team of developers that increases not only human but also financial resources.
Riiid’s deep learning algorithm leveraged in Santa TOEIC, on the other hand, can analyze content automatically without relying on domain experts. Since the technology can identify the student’s weaknesses; it can provide content and study materials to enhance their skills in that particular area in real-time to help improve the score. Santa TOEIC’s AI plays two crucial roles to boost the student’s score. Every time a student solves a question, Santa TOEIC analyzes that data in real-time by studying the learning patterns of both the student giving the test as well as the other users and then predict if the student’s answer to the next question will be right or wrong. At the same time, the solution also predicts which option the student will pick with 90 percent accuracy in real-time. Based on these insights, Santa TOEIC’s deep learning technology recognizes and recommends content that is essential to boost up a student’s test score while also motivating them to study more.
We are building a whole new academic ecosystem, and in the near future, we will leave the current educational paradigm far behind and embrace all that AI has to offer
“Santa TOEIC’s predictive capability relies solely on user behavior and is much more sophisticated, efficient, and accurate than a rule-based, manual labeling system,” remarks Jang. With each new question that a student solves, they receive updated sets of content and explanations accurately targeting their weakness. “With the state-of-the-art deep technology, we have managed to reduce costs of employing experts for analyzing content while boosting students’ TOEIC score in the fastest way possible,” says Jang.
Riiid’s SantaTOEIC not only prepares students for various sections of the test but also analyzes and boosts their TOEIC score and motivates them to perform better. The solution analyzes the content of each question or lecture and recommends the content to the student to boost his score. Taking into account the complexity of learning processes, Riiid opts for a data-based machine learning algorithm that clusters input and builds a multi-dimensional question profile. Santa TOEIC is an all-in-one solution andoffers individualized curriculums with user diagnosis, analytics, personalized test prepping content, and much more. This highly tailored experience is critical to any student preparing for TOEIC aiming at a minimum passing score within a tight schedule and is unimaginable with a human tutor. According to the company’s data, Santa TOEIC users achieved increase of 131.5 points (out of 990) in average after studying 20 hours with the solution, which demonstrates much higher learning effectivity and efficiency than studying with human tutors. With this proven efficacy, Santa TOEIC garners 1 million of accumulated users solely in Korea within 11 months of official launch. “Each of our adaptive functions can also be modularized and is offered as an independent service to any data-possessing company in multiple-choice test fields,” informs Jang.
The company has also introduced a reward system for students based on blockchain technology to create an environment where they are assessed fairly and accurately at every level of the learning process. “A token reward system for the education market is an indispensable advancement in the blockchain industry,” he adds. The Santa TOEIC Coin, which is called STOEIC for short, is a cryptocurrency rewarded to the learners as compensation for all of their activities within the Santa TOIEC platform. Each learner is rewarded various amounts of coins according to their level of effort, which includes taking practice tests, listening to lectures, and increasing estimated test scores. While other cryptocurrencies primarily focus on receiving funding, STOEIC is unique as its core objective is to increase the effectiveness of the AI tutor solution, which is already in service. “We apply the deep learning technology as well as blockchain technology to motivate students to study more and reward them,” says Jang. He also points Riiid’s focus on technology to be a fundamental differentiator of the company. Similarly, Riiid offers an AI solution, Santa SAT, for students of the SAT exam.
Continuing the Trend of Disruption
Having started as an R&D company, Riiid has come a long way in terms of successfully implementing both its AI solution and building long-term business partnerships with its B2B clients. Over the years, the company has generated a lot of revenue while investing in R&D for its products and developing a mobile application for SantaTOEIC. Serving numerous clients, Riiid has worked with a large education company in Korea. With its AI prediction, Riiid enabled the client to provide students with a prediction of grading scores. Similarly, the company has worked closely with a large IT company in Korea to develop AI technology for education content.Riiid also empowered the client with additional services to carry out AI-based education training.
Going a step ahead of transcending human capabilities, the company provides another AI-based B2B solution called ‘SantA. Inside.’ With the solution, educational companies and institutions can easily utilize AI technology to deliver educational services as well as develop their own AI tutors. A highly scalable solution, SantA. Inside can be applied to all kinds of education domains. Moving ahead, Riiid, currently with over 80 employees, is truly pioneering AI-driven education service field mainly with a team of 30 expert professionals from prominent Korean and overseas universities (UC Berkeley, Yale, Seoul National University, KAIST, POSTECH, Korea University, etc), all of whom hold master’s or doctoral degrees in mathematics or computer science. Striving to study and research cutting-edge AI technologies (Transformer, Attention, Bert, and others) with an aim of further enhancing and optimizing SantA. Inside, the firm has been successfully adapting those up-to-date technologies in its service, Santa TOEIC, and proved its accelerated learning efficacy through publishing papers at global leading AI conferences. Through those continuous R&D efforts, the AI solution at Santa TOEIC has significantly improved functionalities in the fields of students’ score prediction and optimal contents suggestion. In fact, its score prediction accuracy has enhanced by 110 percent since its service launch in 2018 and increase of users’ test score after studying with the application has surged by 17 percent based on an advanced contents suggestion algorithm. Even further, the company is up to modeling students’ behavior such as learning attitude and motivation enabling new kinds of prediction which will further maximize the intelligence on its solution. With 13 global patents and having published a paper at Neural Information Processing Systems workshop, Riiid is truly focused on boosting effectiveness for self-studying students.
Not slowing down on its journey to bring in disruption into the education market, the company will be reducing the price of its solution offerings in order to broaden the scope of access for its product portfolio. Riiid is working toward developing solutions for students preparing for TOEFL test in China and public official exam in Korea. In particular, the company plans to invest in natural language processing technology and develop chatbots to challenge more sophisticated English education service. Also, with its content authoring tool, Riiid aims at revolutionizing the way lectures and questions for SAT and TOEIC are created, enabling both the domain experts and students to generate relevant study content. “We are building a whole new academic ecosystem, and in the near future, we will leave the current educational paradigm far behind and embrace all that AI has to offer,” concludes Jang.