An interview with 2010-11 Fellow Amruth Ravindranath (India)

How was the Sauvé experience for you? How has the Sauvé experience impacted your life? 

My work and learning during my Sauvé Year led to the product that now lies at the heart of my latest company – Guru-G Learning Labs. This was also an year that gave me amazing friends, insightful kitchen conversations about changing the world and most importantly, the ability to wholeheartedly accept the part of me that refuses to belong to any system that does not feel right and the motivation to keep fighting to make it so.

Tell us a bit about your journey after your Sauvé experience until today. What have you been up to?

I’m always working on multiple projects, sometimes at the risk of spreading myself too thin. But I’ve realized over the years that I’m most productive when there are multiple projects being nurtured in my mind as opposed to constraining my thoughts towards one project. In the last 6 years, my team & I have directly impacted the life of over 500,000 students in more than 3,000 schools across India by working together with different government and private stakeholders in the education space. Most recently, we are part of one of the largest collaborations in the education space where we are co-developing a national teacher platform that is set to impact over 10 million teachers across the country. Our work was recognized during the Prime Minister’s Startup India launch event in 2016 where we won the People’s Choice Award for the best startup in the country. Internationally, we’ve won several accolades (including recognition from the State Department of US, UNICEF, Unreasonable Group among others) and presented our work at prominent forums in over 15 countries.

In the last 2 years, I’ve also been working on translating my excitement and interest in the space of Artificial Intelligence into designing and developing meaningful solutions that can impact the daily lives of students and teachers. We have developed an Adaptive Teaching algorithm that uses machine learning to predict which way of teaching a topic is most likely to be effective with different groups of students in a class. I’ve recently started working with a team in Montreal that is focused on building an intelligent tutor that can teach students by engaging them in human-like conversations. I’m pretty excited about that!

What do you do now?

I’m currently the CEO of Guru-G Learning Labs, a startup focused on building teacher-centric technology innovations. Most of our work so far has been focused on empowering teachers in India with a friendly mentor in the form of an app that is supported by a powerful AI platform. This year, we are working towards entering the North American market by partnering with large education organizations in Canada and USA.

What are some projects you are working on now?  

Last year, we won the opportunity to co-develop a national teacher platform that is set to impact over 10 million teachers across India. It is probably one of the largest education initiatives in the world and we’re really excited to be at the heart of it. I’ve also been working on designing a couple of new products that can bring us to the North American market. Teachers in US and Canada already have access to a wide range of open education resources. The opportunity lies in minimizing the effort and learning curve involved in adopting them. Additionally, schools are facing a growing pressure to adopt personalized learning models. But such models require both teachers and students to learn new behaviours around using personalized learning platforms. We’re working on designing a solution that presents an easier an significantly more scalable alternative to such platforms, in a way that minimizes the effort and learning curve involved for all stakeholders.

Most recently, I’ve been working with an amazing team in Montreal that is building an AI tutor for students. AI is increasingly becoming a part of our lives – whether in the form of AI agents that we are beginning to connect with as if they were human (think of Siri or Alexa) or in the form of more abstract algorithms that are fuelling the intelligence behind a wide variety of products. When we ask ourselves – what will education look like 10 years from now?, it seems inevitable that interacting with AI agents will play a significant role in how we learn in the future. Imagine having an AI companion who stays with you for life and helps you learn new things as well as to keep track of what you’ve learnt and how it can be applied to various choices you face in life. We’re designing some of the building-blocks for such a future. So, it’s pretty exciting!

What do you hope for in the future?

I have no idea and that’s why it’s worth waiting for! 🙂