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Education: National Star College Empowers Students with AI for Unprecedented Independence

Education: National Star College Empowers Students with AI for Unprecedented Independence

An Insight into the Impact of AI Technology on National Star College Students

In a groundbreaking development, National Star College is set to open a new £6.1m residential building equipped with state-of-the-art technology that will revolutionize the lives of students with disabilities. The “smart house” will utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and voice-activated technology to empower students, enhance their independence, and prepare them for life beyond college.

The college, located in Ullenwood near Cheltenham, caters to young people with a range of disabilities, providing them with education and therapy. The introduction of this cutting-edge technology aims to give students the opportunity to explore and adapt to AI in a safe environment, ultimately enabling them to implement it into their own lives.

The single-storey ‘Building a Brighter Future’ comprises 13 bedrooms, each equipped with overhead tracking hoists and various AI features, including a voice-activated fridge. The technology has been personalized to meet the individual needs of the students, making it a truly transformative experience.

One of the students, Jasper Tomlinson, who is non-verbal, was given the opportunity to test the software ahead of the building’s opening. Using his electronic communicator, he can send commands to the smart devices by controlling them with his eyes. This newfound ability has not only increased his confidence but has also paved the way for a more independent future.

According to Maizie Morgan, the assistive technology technician at National Star College, the primary goal is to expose students to this technology and allow them to witness its potential. By doing so, they can gain valuable insights into the world of AI and eventually incorporate it into their daily lives after college.

Simon Welch, the college’s principal, emphasizes that while the technology itself may not be groundbreaking, the way in which it is tailored to meet the specific needs of each student is truly innovative. This personalized approach ensures that the technology becomes a powerful tool for their growth and independence.

The new accommodation is expected to significantly improve the lives of young people with complex physical and learning disabilities. Peter Horne, the National Star deputy chief executive, believes that it will create stimulating spaces for students to live, learn, and relax in, ultimately transforming their overall experience at the college.

By providing students with the opportunity to explore and adapt to AI technology, National Star College is taking a significant step towards empowering young people with disabilities. This initiative not only enhances their independence but also equips them with the skills they need to thrive in a rapidly advancing technological world. The impact of this “smart house” is set to be far-reaching, as it opens doors to new possibilities and fosters a brighter future for all.

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Akash Osta