SAMI: An AI Actor for Fostering Social Interactions in Online Classrooms


Learning is a social process. However, online learning is characterized by social isolation. We present an AI social actor, SAMI, for fostering social interactions in online classrooms. SAMI (Social Agent Mediated Interactions) aims to mitigate the potentially adverse impact of social isolation on the learning experience and emotional well-being
of geographically dispersed online learners in asynchronous educational settings. SAMI connects learners based on their shared identity considering student location, hobbies, and academic interests. It also aims to enhance the feeling of “belongingness” felt by the students in the community of online students. SAMI has been deployed at Georgia Institute
of Technology in several online classes with over 11000 students in the past two years. We describe our findings from student surveys to gauge SAMI’s effectiveness.



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