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The spike in the e-learning market has speeded up digital adoption and democratized learning, bringing about the adoption of powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven modern learning solutions. According to Facts and Factors, the EdTech sector is expected to reach USD 374.3 Billion by 2026.

With this increased digitization and democratization of learning, traditional methods of offering and curating content seem inadequate in meeting the high demand for quality learning experiences that individuals, educational institutions, and corporates require today. In addition, most content is not accessible today, and the process of making content accessible is expensive.


Read more: Upskilling Teachers: ´Teachers need to upgrade themselves with 21st century pedagogical skills´


With the aim of making content widely accessible to everyone, irrespective of socio-economic, physical, or cognitive challenges, Bangalore based Continual Engine, has created a suite of AI-powered products focused on content accessibility and learning.

The Tech Panda spoke to Mousumi Kapoor, Founder and CEO of Continual Engine about how they are building smarter, affordable, and scalable solutions for learning and accessibility by leveraging AI, deep learning, machine learning, automation, and other sophisticated technologies.

Mousumi Kapoor

AI algorithms and predictive models work together to create highly personalized learning experiences and provide data to track and analyze the learning’s impact

“AI algorithms and predictive models work together to create highly personalized learning experiences and provide data to track and analyze the learning’s impact,” says Kapoor.

“AI-driven learning solutions are revolutionizing the market by offering educational institutions or corporates an intuitive, highly personalized, self-paced learning platform and enables feedback, and data-driven metrics to measure course effectiveness,” she adds.

What They Do

Continual Engine’s products are designed to make content consumption equitable, affordable, scalable, and accessible.

By harnessing the power of AI, machine learning, automation, and other technologies in an unprecedented manner, our solutions make content accessible for all individuals regardless of physical, socio-economic or other limitations

“By harnessing the power of AI, machine learning, automation, and other technologies in an unprecedented manner, our solutions make content accessible for all individuals regardless of physical, socio-economic or other limitations while driving personalized and customizable learning transformations,” says Kapoor.

“In addition, by simplifying and transforming content, it enables companies and individuals to repurpose or reimagine the content for other applications,” she adds.

Products and Features

The company´s AI-enabled learning experience platform, myAthina enables access to smart content (personalized learning/tailored to one’s profile), quality education that’s accessible anywhere, anytime. Their suite of AI-powered accessibility products make content and learning experiences equitable, by removing barriers to access.

Their suite of products include: PREP and Invicta – focused on making content accessible for individuals with disabilities, and myAthina – a transformational cloud-based, AI driven learning experience platform which caters to customized learning needs for businesses, educational institutions, and direct to consumers (B2C).


Read more: The Tech in EdTech: What the Future Holds


Here’s a brief description of each product:

PREP – PDF Remediation Platform

PREP uses sophisticated AI to create accessible PDF content in minutes through a highly intuitive and accurate tagging system. Its dynamic web-based user interface offers an intuitive and simple user experience, enabling PDF remediation in three simple steps, from uploading the document to generating a fully accessible version that can be read using screenreaders.

Competitors: Adobe Acrobat, Equidox, and Commonlook

Invicta

Their alt text solution leverages AI and automation technologies to generate accurate and comprehensive alt text descriptions for images across varied disciplines including science, technology, engineering, math, accounting, statistics, and several other disciplines. Also, the descriptions generated by Invicta have a wider range of applications across other industries such as for accounting, taxation, finance, etc.

By using machine-learning, and AI technologies, our alt text products can dramatically reduce the time and cost in making images accessible

“By using machine-learning, and AI technologies, our alt text products can dramatically reduce the time and cost in making images accessible,” Kapoor explains.

In addition to offering image descriptions or image alt text authoring services, Continual Engine is building a series of secure, cloud-based APIs which can be easily integrated with other tools or platforms.

Competitors: Google Vision, Microsoft Vision

myAthina

myAthina is a transformational cloud based, AI driven learning experience platform that replaces traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) and the need to spend upfront capital to purchase expensive licenses for external courses. It comes in three variations, myAthina (B2C), myAthina for Education and myAthina for Business.

While myAthina (B2C) aggregates courses from different course providers and provides relevant, curated search results for learners through AI, myAthina for Education provides a dynamic online campus for students and instructors to communicate and collaborate efficiently and effortlessly.

“Our vision is to provide an intuitive, affordable, user-friendly, and seamless solution that vastly enhances communication, information sharing, accessibility, personalized learning, and offers a centralized location for all resources,” Kapoor says.

Our vision is to provide an intuitive, affordable, user-friendly, and seamless solution that vastly enhances communication, information sharing, accessibility, personalized learning, and offers a centralized location for all resources

myAthina for Business allows businesses to offer employees access to internal courses such as compliance, safety, POSH courses and more, along with access to over 80,000 leading external courses from a single, easy-to-navigate interface.

“myAthina empowers businesses by providing an up-to-date skill profile of the entire organization along with insights on the learning goals of employees. There are no course licensing fees, and organizations have the option to pay for only courses their employees complete,” she adds.

Competitors: Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas

Inspiration and Origin

Continual Engine was conceived over a dinner conversation between friends. A discussion ensued between Kapoor, who was then working on building AI-enabled application to created curated assessments for K-12 students, Navneet Kapoor, Bob Ulrich, Darin Narayana, (Ulrich and Narayana eventually became investors and board members in CE) and Rajiv Narayana, Continual Engine´s current CLO, on how hard it is to find practical technology applications that can address the issues faced by the education industry.

Most digital content is not accessible today as the current solutions to make content accessible for individuals with disabilities are time-consuming, expensive and cumbersome. STEM content is more severely impacted as it requires subject matter expertise to make this content accessible

After dabbling in a few use cases, they focused on enabling accessibility in learning and content, particularly for STEM image and documents.

“Most digital content is not accessible today as the current solutions to make content accessible for individuals with disabilities are time-consuming, expensive and cumbersome. STEM content is more severely impacted as it requires subject matter expertise to make this content accessible,” says Kapoor.

“An increasing awareness about the importance of making content affordable and accessible combined with the need for a robust solution, presented the right use case for Continual Engine, as AI is well-suited to solve this problem. The team is dedicated to creating a simpler, affordable, and effective way to make content and learning available and accessible to every type of user by leveraging AI and automation technologies,” she adds.

Growth Story

The solutions are currently being used by global education publishers, US institutions, including premier universities, and corporations located in India and North America. Kapoor informs that the impact created by accessibility and learning products and solutions include reductions in costs by up to 50% and cycle time by 50-70%.

“In addition to being innovative and transformative, our products are designed to ensure scalability, affordability, and ease of use. We are making learning more accessible, engaging, and smarter for all by applying sophisticated AI technology and innovative solutions,” she says.

We are making learning more accessible, engaging, and smarter for all by applying sophisticated AI technology and innovative solutions

The company raised seed funding during the time of incorporation to enable building the suite of proprietary solutions. After an early success with proof-of-concept, and pilots, it has established long-term partnerships with several well-known global educational publishers, institutions, and corporates, and started to generate revenue across the three products.

“We are excited to be working with top universities, publishers, and businesses in Asia-Pacific and North America,” she concludes.

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