Are textbooks a thing of the past? Prof Jim, a Silicon Valley AI company, doesn’t think so. In fact, this award-winning startup believes that textbook publishers that use Prof Jim’s Reelbooks platform can actually fix the current education crisis—a crisis in which teachers are leaving in droves and many students have been left behind due to the pandemic. And Prof Jim’s learning outcomes look promising.
Prof Jim’s patented AI transforms publishers’ content, be it books, articles, or assessments, into interactive videos. This technology empowers textbooks and teachers to provide high-quality and interactive video lessons to students, at scale. And forward-thinking publishers are already starting to collaborate. “We believe generative AI can aid educators and improve outcomes for students, beyond simply providing answers to homework problems,” shares Jim Chilton, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of one of the world’s most prolific textbook providers, Cengage. “We are experimenting with external technologies like Prof Jim, and are excited by the potential this technology offers to help us deliver meaningful impact for learners and educators.”
Lincoln Learning Solutions, the developer of Lincoln Empowered, a digitally based curriculum that delivers engaging, standards-based instruction in online and blended learning K-12 environments, is an enthusiastic partner.
“Our collaboration is producing engaging content with excellent production value, at scale, Chief Academic Officer Charles Thayer said. “We’re excited to be on the leading edge of this trend, to utilize AI for quality video content creation and support instruction. It is strategic in that it augments the capabilities of our teams and truly benefits learners.”
What distinguishes Prof Jim's AI Reelbooks? Dr. Deepak Sekar, Co-founder and CEO of Prof Jim, says: "The US Patent Office has granted us fundamental patents for automatically converting textbooks to avatar videos. We are pioneering this field."
And the business opportunity is real. “Coursera has only 7000 courses on their platform, and is valued at over $2B,” Sekar explains. “For many publishers — 7000 textbooks are only a small portion of their catalog. In other words, if they could transform just a fraction of their publications to interactive video lessons, the opportunity would be transformative.”
Learning outcomes are promising.
Moreover, Prof Jim’s proprietary AI avatars and voices are specifically developed and customized for teaching applications. Indeed, the performance of these avatars and voices often rivals, and sometimes even surpasses, human instructors in online learning scenarios. Three studies using Prof Jim’s technology have been conducted, zeroing in on learning outcomes. And they stand poised to redefine the landscape of online education.
The first study: Reelbooks vs. Textbooks
A comprehensive study engaged 700 students, divided into groups, exploring obscure topics such as: "The History of the Protractor," "Indus Valley Civilization," and "Vinca Civilization." While 350 students accessed textual descriptions, the remaining 350 experienced Prof Jim’s avatar-narrated videos. The results? Reelbooks had a 47.3% recollection rate, while textbooks only managed 34.6%.
The second study: AI-Assistance vs. Online Teacher Screencasting
In the second experiment, a seasoned teacher with over 10 years of experience created a lesson on the “History of Glue” and screencasted herself explaining the material. This endeavor took her almost eight hours. Her video lesson was then sent to 200 students. Then, she used Prof Jim's interface to create a Reelbook leveraging AI for both creating the content and then displaying the content—which took a fraction of the time. This AI-generated lesson was sent to a separate group of 200 students. When it came to the learning outcomes, the lesson made without any AI assistance achieved 61% of correct answers, while the video created with AI assistance, a “Reelbook,” surpassed expectations with an astounding 75% of average correct users.
The third study: One Script, Two formats
For the subsequent experiment, the focus was placed on determining the AI avatar’s capacity to emulate a human instructor’s proficiency in delivery. In this pursuit, the script and the presentation slides remained entirely identical; 200 students received the same lesson on the history of currency, presented by a white male avatar; while the other received the same lesson taught by an experienced white male human presenter. Notably, when using the same script and almost-identical slide presentation, the learning outcomes were strikingly similar. Students who received the lesson with a screencasted teacher, answered on average 44% of the answers correctly; students who received the lesson with the avatar, answered an average of 45% questions correctly. Furthermore, when students were asked to rate the presenters, both teacher screencasting and the Reelbook with the AI avatar received a Median rating of 7.
The Future of Learning
As Prof Jim’s AI Reelbooks 2.0 disrupt conventional norms, it’s clear that the typical learning journey will evolve into an immersive experience powered by cutting-edge technology. The convergence of AI, avatars, and engaging narratives heralds an era where education isn't just transmitted; it's experienced.
Named after Professor Jim Meindl, Prof Jim’s co-founder’s favorite professional and doctoral advisor, the company is leading the AI revolution with intuitive resources specifically designed for video creation. By 2030, generative AI will create more than 50% of all online content. Winning plaudits from Reach Capital and others for its patent-protected AI, Prof Jim’s AI autogenerates interactive videos, slides, and assessments from textbooks, websites and GPT. Prof Jim is now working with several top 10 publishing houses to convert their textbooks into interactive videos. Visit profjim.com and see an interactive video demo here.