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Kiwi Startup Spotlight: AI math tutor democratising education

25 Oct 2017

AI personal math tutor Amy was created out of a vision for children everywhere to have access to quality education, no matter where they live.

Founders Raphael Nolden, Jurgen Brandstetter, and Antonia Modkova founded Jaipuna (previously osNOVA) to develop the AI with the aim of democratising education.

Jaipuna is based in Auckland, and the startup is currently developing a product for New Zealand students.

Nolden says the idea they had in mind with Amy was to give private tutors to everyone.

“We wanted to improve students’ learning by giving them a tutor who is always there to help them, whether they are learning at school or at home.”

What Amy does

Amy makes it fun and easy for students to learn math.

It’s able to provide students with feedback so they don’t get stuck on problems and can remind students if they’ve forgotten something.

Amy’s private beta version is currently available for Year 9 to 11 Math subjects and will be adding new topics soon.

Jaipuna is also developing a teacher version of Amy that can be used to keep track and manage classroom learning.

This version of Amy will allow teachers to set and automatically mark individualised assignments.

The real-time feedback provided by Amy allows teachers to quickly and easily test the comprehension of students to see who needs more guidance.  

Leveraging AI in education

Where Amy is able to leverage the advantages of AI is the interactive and individualised nature of teaching it can provide.

This means the exercises and feedback provided are specific to the students and their learning levels.

Jaipuna also uses the latest in pedagogical research to guide the design and implementation of Amy to give students the best learning outcomes and experience.

Funding and support

Jaipuna recently completed a six-month Flux Accelerator programme, run by the Icehouse and Callaghan Innovation.

The programme provides guidance from business leaders and technology companies, including Amazon Web Services.

It’s currently raising a round of angel investment.

Nolden says the main challenge the team is facing currently is finding the right people to grow the team.

He hopes Amy will be able to give every child access to the same baseline of high-quality education.

“We want to bring all of the world’s minds online to help solve the big challenges of the 21st century,” Nolden says. 

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