DEMOFall08: iKnow Introduces Smart, Social Learning Tool

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Tokyo-based Cerego has introduced a new “intelligent social learning platform” at DEMOFall ’08. iKnow is designed to help you learn knowledge in a 2.0-type social environment. The tool measures your own personal learning style and speed and adjusts the program accordingly to cater to your needs. iKnow then lets you collaborate with other users and share information publicly throughout the site. Right now, the tool is in beta testing for language — specifically for English speakers working to learn Japanese.

The programmers behind iKnow had previously been testing it for Japanese users studying English and say they saw great success. As they put it:

“Research has shown that there is an optimum moment to review whatever you’re studying — at that moment right before you’re likely to forget it,” said Andrew Smith Lewis, founder and chairman of Cerego. “The problem is that calculating this moment for a vast stream of information is far beyond the capacity of the human brain. But it’s not beyond the capacity of software. And now for the first time, we have not only the computing capacity to generate personalized learning schedules, but also a fertile venue for the creation and sharing of an infinite variety of learning content, the Web.”

iKnow’s expanded system will eventually let you use its algorithms for any type of learning exercise, not just limited to language. Cerego plans to release APIs and open the platform up completely to developers.

This isn’t something you’d use on a daily basis, but the technology — at least, as its touted — is fairly impressive. One could imagine it having strong implications for scholastic settings, particularly as an at-home supplement to in-class learning. As of now, the services are all offered free-of-charge.

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