Merlyn Mind, an AI-powered digital assistant platform, has recently announced the launch of a suite of large language models (LLMs) specifically tailored for the education sector under an open-source license.
According to the company, its LLMs model, developed with an emphasis on education workflows and safety requirements, would empower teachers and students to engage with generative models that operate on user-selected curricula, fostering an enhanced learning experience. The LLMs, part of the company’s generative AI platform designed for educational purposes, can interact with specific collections of educational content.
Teachers and students can use the education-focused generative AI platform through the Merlyn voice assistant. In the classroom, users can ask Merlyn questions verbally or request it to generate quizzes and classroom activities based on the ongoing conversation. The platform also allows teachers to generate content such as slides, lesson plans and assessments tailored to their curriculum and aligned content.
According to Co-founder & CEO of Merlyn Mind, Satya Nitta, typical LLMs are trained on vast amounts of internet data, resulting in responses generated from that content. These responses may need to align with educational requirements. In contrast, Merlyn’s LLMs rely solely on academic corpora chosen by users or institutions without accessing the broader internet.
When a user submits a request, such as asking a question or issuing a command to generate assessments, the LLM begins by retrieving the most relevant passages from the content used by the school district or educator for teaching. This content is then presented to the language model. The model generates responses solely based on the provided content and does not draw from its pretraining materials. To verify the accuracy of the response, it undergoes an additional check by an alternate language model to ensure alignment with the original request.
The firm further mentioned that it has fine-tuned the primary model so that when it cannot produce a high-quality response, it admits the failure rather than generating a false reaction.
As education institutions, school leaders and teachers make thoughtful strategic choices on the content and curriculum they use to help students best, Merlyn’s AI platform is built for this reality with a solution that draws from the school’s chosen corpora to overcome hallucinations and inaccuracies with a generative AI experience.
Merlyn said its education-focused LLMs are smaller and more efficient than generalist models. Its models vary from six billion to 40 billion parameters; mainstream general-purpose models typically have over 175 billion.
Merlyn Mind believes the future of work is people working with an AI assistant to be more productive and free to do what humans do best. The team of scientists, engineers, and innovators is committed to bringing the best of AI to education to support teaching and learning. The platform brings safe and effective AI into the classroom to automate teacher workflows, generate curriculum-aligned content, and engage students.