AskJill in SkillSync: Explanation and Trust in AI

SkillSync is an NSF-funded effort engaging an industry-academia consortium led by EduWorks and including Georgia Tech, the University System of Georgia, Credentials Engine, and several other partners. The goal is to build an AI application that enables companies to succinctly express reskilling needs for their workforce and helps colleges describe their educational offerings and respond to companies’ needs. The interactive tool better aligns job requirements and opportunities with reskilling knowledge, skills, and abilities, and distills these reskilling needs to universities in a way that matches specific learning outcomes.

When using SkillSync, both employers and educators can ask questions to a virtual coach named AskJill that is based on Georgia Tech’s virtual teaching assistant Jill Watson. AskJill helps explain SkillSync’s vocabulary, functions, and processing, thereby making it more transparent and trustworthy to its users. AskJill in SkillSync is a collaboration between the Design & Intelligence Laboratory and C21U.

Jill Watson: A Suite of Online Learning Tools

From Left to Right: Ida Camacho, Qiaosi Wang, Rohit A Mujumdar, Ashok Goel, Eric Gregori, Varsha Achar

With the advent of Georgia Tech’s OMSCS (a massive online course to earn a Masters in CS), thousands of people around the world have been enrolling to learn. An increase in learners implied more questions being asked on class discussion forums. With a limited number of instructors per course, answering questions became increasingly difficult. This is when Jill Watson was conceived.

Jill Watson is a Virtual Teaching Assistant, that can answer questions about a course syllabus, when deployed on online communication forums like Piazza or Slack. 

What initially began as a question answering agent for course syllabi, Jill Watson is gradually permeating into other domains. Jill Watson can now answer questions about VERA‘s instructional manual.

Watch the video below to learn more about Jill Watson!