Laureates from Brazil and Spain to receive UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for their use of AI in education

Paris: The two winners of the 2019 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa-Al Khalifa for the use of ICT in Educationare the Letrus Writing Skills Program from Brazil and the Dytective dyslexia screening tool from Spain. Each prize winner will receive an award of $25,000 in a ceremony whose date will be set in the coming weeks.

The theme of the 2019 edition of the Prize is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to innovate education, teaching and learning. Through this theme, UNESCO aimed to promote effective and ethical applications of AI in education that are universally available.

The Letrus Writing Skills Program, developed by the Letrus company of Brazil, is an AI-powered programme for automated feedback on students’ writing. Letrus aims to reduce functional illiteracy in the Portuguese language by improving practice opportunities for secondary school students and teachers. The programme supports students’ writing skills through hybrid AI-human feedback. Students receive immediate feedback from the software, which can identify writing patterns, and more detailed feedback from human graders. Since 2017, over 65,000 students have used the programme throughout Brazil’s 26 states.

Dytective (detective), developed by the Change Dyslexia company of Spain, is a tool designed to detect dyslexia in Spanish in approximately 15 minutes. It also provides game-based exercises for learners with dyslexia, helping them overcome writing and reading difficulties. The application features a mix of online-gamified tests and associated predictive machine learning applications. To date, more than 270,000 children in 43 different countries have benefited from a free pre-diagnosis of dyslexia. The company also provides grants to underprivileged families with children requiring remedial education for dyslexia.

The two winners were chosen from 113 nominations submitted by the Governments of UNESCO’s Member States and UNESCO partner organizations on the recommendation of an International Jury of educational experts.

Established in 2005 and supported by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Prize annually rewards individuals and organizations that use digital technologies to enhance teaching, learning and overall education performance. The two winners receive an award of USD 25,000 and international recognition for their innovative use of digital technologies in education.

A Laureates’ Seminar with presentations of the winning projects will be held on the occasion of the prize giving ceremony, whose date is yet to be determined.