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ProfBot, a new AI-powered chatbot, could be student’s next study-buddy

May 04, 2023
ProfBot logo

ProfBot logo

Students may soon have a new study buddy to help them prepare for exams, an AI tool named ProfBot.

ProfBot, a new AI-powered chatbot, was developed and tested by Dr. Sean Wise, a professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University.

The technology was designed to assist undergraduate students during exams by providing accurate and reliable information curated by the professor to minimize the risk of misinformation and bias. The ProfBot interface looks and feels the same as most widely used digital chat tools, (e.g. Facebook Messenger, SMS, Whatsapp? etc.) except that with ProfBot the students are ‘texting’ with an AI not a human. 

ProfBot is more available than any human teaching assistant could be, quizzing students on course material 24/7, anywhere, on any device. The tool asks students a question over a text only interface. Then the students type their answer, and ProfBot provides feedback on how to improve the answer. ProfBot can explain why the student’s input wasn’t optimal. At the end of the test, ProfBot provides personalized feedback to the student on what areas to focus their studies on next. 

Professor Wise says he is confident that ProfBot can transform the way that undergraduate students prepare for and take exams.

"We know there is a strong correlation between student engagement and student success, and that was true here," he explains. "Those that used ProfBot™ improved more on the final exam than those who did not."

Over the nine day pilot, 243 students were given access to ProfBot. On the impact of the final exam, 57 per cent of the students who used ProfBot more than once increased their grades by 5 per cent or more.

As for the origins of ProfBot, Wise says “I’m always inspired by my students and Michael Petrov was one of my best.” Petrov was a student in Wise’s entrepreneurship class who went on to help engineer OpenAI’s ChatGPT which powers ProfBot.

ProfBot is designed to help ease some of the stress that students face during exams by providing them with an effective way to prepare for exams. The technology is the result of extensive testing to ensure that it is accurate, reliable, and effective. ProfBot was designed explicitly to minimize bias and misinformation.

It is currently available to undergraduate students at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University, while other schools can sign up for the waitlist to gain access to this innovative resource.