Exclusive interview: Quddus Pativada’s mission to transform education with AI

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Quddus Pativada

DUBAI, Dec 11: Quddus Pativada, a resident of the UAE in his twenties, has chosen a path similar to luminaries such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg by opting out of college. At just 20 years old, he holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a company that has developed ASI, an artificial intelligence-driven tutor. ASI offers immediate feedback, personalized assistance, and adaptive learning, with the aim of enhancing homework support and test readiness for students adhering to the UAE’s national curriculum.

During an interview with Khaleej Times on Monday, conducted on the sidelines of the ‘UAE AI Tutor Hackathon’ where the AI tutor was experimentally launched at COP 28, Quddus explained, “I decided to build a company instead of pursuing university. Consequently, I took a gap year after dropping out of college. Subsequently, we successfully secured approximately $3 million in funding from investors in the US and the UAE. This has now become my full-time commitment, and I am determined to continue advancing the growth of the company.”

Quddus initiated the founding of the company during a gathering with friends approximately a month before his high school graduation in Dubai.

“At the age of 17, we began contemplating ways to simplify the learning process, inspired by our status as part of the ‘Tik Tok’ generation. Our exploration into innovative learning methods commenced with early conversations on platforms like FaceTime, predating the emergence of tools such as ChatGPT. This exploration fueled our deeper involvement in the field, leading us to develop our solutions. This year, we had the privilege to collaborate with the UAE Ministry of Education, contributing to the creation of a national AI with substantial potential to accelerate the learning journey,” shared the student, who successfully graduated from Repton Dubai.

“We utilized the research we conducted to implement this tool, assisting students following the national curriculum. Tasks that previously consumed two hours can now be completed within minutes,” highlighted the Indian expatriate, who has been a resident since he was seven months old.

He underscores that ASI is a system that adapts to its students.

Elaborating on the distinctions between ASI and other AI tools, Pativada clarified that this AI tutor is educationally focused, concentrating specifically on solidifying curriculum content rather than offering broad generalizations. The tool underwent multiple testing phases, receiving feedback from various stakeholders.

The Ministry plays a vital role in facilitating access to relevant educational materials, curriculum guidelines, and data necessary for aligning the AI Tutor with the UAE’s national curriculum.

“The guidelines are straightforward. The tool is tested in both English and Emirati dialects of Arabic. Our objective is to create a tool that surpasses human capabilities but is offered at a fraction of the cost and is accessible 24/7. This specific use case makes it more appealing to students. They end up learning much more from this tool compared to a generic chatting tool because it is specifically designed to cater to their educational needs,” Pativada explained.

‘Friend-like Interaction’

Basmla Mohammed Fawzi Alsaid Gebril from Zayed Educational Complex in RAK expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “It was incredible. I was highly impressed with the AI tutor. The AI tutor explained things to me in a manner akin to a teacher. If they incorporate a voice chat feature, it would be even better.”

Narmeen Almarzooqi, a Computational Systems student at Zayed University, commented, “It surpasses ChatGPT in specific aspects, especially in its personalized approach. Every time I input a prompt, it provides information tailored to my needs, even on intricate topics. What I truly appreciate is its customization of answers. Following each prompt, it presents a follow-up question. Therefore, this tutor feels more like a friend.”

This news has been read 880 times!

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