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Microsoft Partners with Khan Academy to Bring AI-Powered Tutoring to U.S. Teachers for Free

In a groundbreaking move, Microsoft is partnering with the renowned tutoring organization Khan Academy to provide a generative AI assistant, Khanmigo for Teachers, to all teachers in the United States for free. This initiative, financially supported by Microsoft, aims to empower educators by providing them with a powerful tool that can assist in lesson preparation, student performance analysis, assignment planning, and professional development opportunities.

Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, emphasized the significance of this offering, stating that unlike previous technological advancements in education, which were considered “nice-to-have,” Khanmigo for Teachers is a “must-have” for many educators.

The partnership between Microsoft and Khan Academy dates back to the early stages of OpenAI’s development, when the company’s top executives, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, recognized the potential of Khan Academy’s interactive exercise platform for piloting their GPT technology in socially positive use cases.

While initially skeptical about the collaboration, Khan eventually became convinced of AI’s ability to advance educational goals, despite concerns around cheating that surfaced in 2023. He believes that the AI-powered tutoring tool can emulate the personalized experience of a great tutor, akin to his organization’s founding story of providing one-on-one tutoring to his cousin Nadia.

To further enhance the AI-powered tutoring experience, Microsoft and Khan Academy are also planning to introduce an open-source small language model from Microsoft’s Phi-3 AI technology. This model will provide specific grade-level guidance, customized tutoring sessions, and eventually, feedback on handwritten work, starting with a focus on middle school math.

Khanmigo was piloted with several hundred students and teachers a year ago and is now in use with around 65,000 students and teachers as part of formal instruction. While the current cost is approximately $35 per student per year, Khan Academy aims to reduce the cost to the $10-$20 range within the next year, as the technology advances and computing power costs decrease.

The partnership between Microsoft and Khan Academy will also benefit Microsoft’s Copilot AI, with the integration of Khan Academy content and the inclusion of Khan content in Microsoft Teams for Education.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, an early supporter of Khan Academy through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently recommended Khan’s new book on AI in education, further highlighting the significance of this collaboration in shaping the future of education.