UK: AI helps predict why children struggle at school

07 December 2018

Researchers have harnessed artificial intelligence (AI) to better identify why children struggle at school.

School Difficulties iStock

They identified clusters of learning difficulties in 550 children who were struggling at school that did not match previous diagnoses.

Cambridge University scientists fed a computer algorithm with data from each child, including listening skills, spatial reasoning, problem-solving, vocabulary, and memory.

The algorithm suggested that the children fit best into four clusters: difficulties with memory skills, with processing sounds in words, broad cognitive difficulties, and typical cognitive test results for their age.

Duncan Astle, who led the study, which was published in Developmental Science, said: ‘We need to move beyond the diagnostic label and hope this study will assist with developing better interventions that more specifically target children’s individual cognitive difficulties.’

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