LittleLights.ai: AI-Powered Virtual English Tutor

In the quest to meet the demands of international communication and global linguistic unity, the English language wins hands down. However, unlike native English speaking countries, the methodology of teaching the English language prevalent across many countries fails to equip students to converse fluently in English. It is also important for kids to learn a secondary language before starting school in order to take advantage of the golden window of opportunity (3-7 years of age) of language development. Unfortunately, parents find that there is no carefully designed product to meet that demand.

In case of China for example, the differences in ideas of pedagogy and approach to educational administration yield far lower standards in spoken English. As having English language proficiency is regarded as the mortarboard, numerous companies in China are in the pursuit of imparting English language knowledge to young Chinese students. However, the system of connecting an American teacher with a Chinese student through teleconferencing proves to be very expensive for parents. Moreover, they have to tackle the time zone differences and complexities in mediating ideas between the teacher and students.

Hua Peng, the co-founder of LittleLights.ai understood the inherent deficiency in China’s English education system and set out to bring forth effective and affordable English education. “The goal is to make an AI-powered highly interactive and intelligent virtual teacher that can impart high-quality English education to Chinese students at a very young age in a cost-effective way. This will equip them better with a good English foundation even before they enter kindergarten,” says Hua.

In the present information age, where everything can be done by a click or a tap, the education system is taking a paradigm shift from the chalk and board to the virtual environment. The virtual environments have already made teachers transit beyond four walls of the classroom to every mobile device. Littlelights.ai is prototyping a virtual learning application that brings together AI and high-quality 3D models to assist students with curriculums tailored for the various levels of English learning.

“We are planning to revolutionize contemporary English teaching with AI technology, which is scalable, affordable and available 24*7. We will ensure an authentic American accent with the highest accuracy and a robust evaluation engine, which can help in tailoring personalized training and improving student engagement based on the data received from the interaction with the students,” says Yuanyuan Xu, the CTO of LittleLights. The AI teacher can even gauge the facial expressions of the students and be responsive to initiate the right approach that fosters an interactive way of teaching at every stage.

The goal is to make an AI-powered virtual teacher that can impart high quality English education to Chinese students at a very young age

From the long-term perspective, LittleLights.ai is planning to develop a robust platform in order to make it more feasible for each individual student to adapt to and quickly master the complexities and nuances of a foreign language. To create result-oriented learning, LittleLights.ai’s application reminds parents to use it at least once a day while motivating children to take more classes. “The interactive classes are designed to be fun-filled and result in higher levels of student participation and retention,” states Hua.

Though the application is currently aimed at pre-schoolers, in the future, the company plans to work with elementary and middle schools as the product is highly scalable. They are also planning to add natural language processing capability to the solution to enable students to engage with the virtual teachers in an effective and simple manner. “We want to ensure that the parents in China can take advantage of this window of opportunity for an easily accessible and better way of achieving English language proficiency,” concludes Hua.