Sal Khan’s 2023 TED Talk: AI in the classroom can transform education

Sal Khan believes that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform education for the better. “We’re at the cusp of using AI for probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen,” he said in his 2023 TED talk.

Get a glimpse of a new era in education—one where every student has access to an AI-powered personal tutor and every teacher has an AI teaching assistant. 


The “Two Sigma Problem” and AI’s solution:

Benjamin Bloom’s 1984 “Two Sigma” study highlighted the benefits of one-to-one tutoring, which resulted in a two standard deviation improvement in students’ performance. Bloom referred to this finding as the “Two Sigma Problem,” since providing one-to-one tutoring to all students has long been unattainable due to cost and scalability issues. 

Sal shared how AI has the potential to scale this tutoring economically and provide personalized instruction to students on a global level with the help of an AI-powered assistant. During his talk, Sal gave a live demo of Khan Academy’s new AI-powered guide, Khanmigo.

Khanmigo: A comprehensive AI tutor

Instead of worrying about students using AI to cheat, Sal said we should focus on the positive use cases. Khanmigo not only detects students’ mistakes, but it also identifies misconceptions in their understanding and provides effective feedback. It can help students with math and computer programming exercises and can provide context-aware help for video content. 


Khanmigo encourages Socratic dialogue and debate by providing a safe space for students to fine-tune their arguments, which can give them more confidence in class. It has been designed to write with students rather than for them. It encourages collaborative story writing and provides feedback on drafts, which helps students improve their writing abilities.

Want to see Khanmigo in action? Khan Academy invites users based in the United States to explore and test AI’s capabilities by joining the Khanmigo waitlist. Your feedback is crucial in shaping the future of education.

A teaching assistant, powered by AI

For teachers, Khanmigo acts as a comprehensive teaching assistant by explaining answers and teaching methods, helping with lesson planning, and creating progress reports. This allows teachers to spend more time and energy on one-on-one interactions with their students.

Positive and appropriate interactions 

We believe that AI can transform education, but we also understand that it comes with limitations and risks.That’s why we clearly communicate these limitations to every parent, teacher, and child who uses Khanmigo. We limit the amount of interaction individuals can have with the AI per day. Additionally, each child’s chat history and activities are visible to parents or guardians and teachers so they can stay informed and involved in their child’s education. Our platform also uses moderation technology to detect inappropriate interactions, and when it does, it sends an automatic email alert to an adult.

Your role in the future of AI

Sal emphasized that everyone has a role to play in shaping the future of AI in education. “We all have to fight like hell for the positive use cases,” he said. 

Through responsible and innovative AI applications like Khanmigo, education has the potential to undergo an unprecedented transformation, accelerating learning and fostering human potential like never before.