The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) objective is to help disadvantaged workers obtain well-paying national security positions by completing self-directed training led by advanced technology. To accomplish this, DARPA is reaching out to American technologists, digital learning platform creators, researchers, students, and teachers to propose, and if selected, develop tools with funding backed by DARPA to upskill candidates and help close the skills gaps that limit U.S. economic growth.
Because tutoring has demonstrated its ability to teach learners quickly and effectively, DARPA is focusing on intelligent tutoring solutions that can reduce the cost of human tutors yet still provide personalized instruction in real-time based on learner responses.
Alelo threw its hat into the ring for DARPA AI Tools Adult Learning by submitting an abstract for its Enskill® Builder tool. Enskill is Alelo’s flagship product for upskilling and reskilling workforces. The abstract discusses how Enskill Builder can facilitate AI-assisted authoring of conversational avatar tutors that personalize learning through interactive conversations with the learner. The technology uses automated speech recognition with natural language processing and machine learning.
Alelo now moves on to phase two which requires the submission of a 3,000-word proposal by February 24, 2023, along with a budget and timeline for developing the tool. Proposals are evaluated based on whether they are clear, concise, actionable, and attainable, with budgets that are aligned and realistic with what’s being proposed. Phase two finalists will be selected in April and will pitch in front of a panel of judges in May as part of phase three. Winners will then be notified in July 2023.
A total of $750,000 will be awarded, with larger awards going to established technologies in later stages of development. Established platforms can earn up to $250,000, minimum viable products up to $100,000, and catalyst ideas up to $50,000.
Winners will also have the opportunity to connect with prominent learning science researchers, ed tech leaders, and representatives of large philanthropic organizations to scale their work.