a Beijing-based online education start-up has developed an artificial intelligence-powered maths app that can check children’s arithmetic problems through the simple snap of a photo. Based on the image and its internal database, the app automatically checks whether the answers are right or wrong.
Known as Xiaoyuan Kousuan, the free app launched by the Tencent Holdings-backed online education firm Yuanfudao, has gained increasing popularity in China since its launch a year ago and claims to have checked an average of 70 million arithmetic problems per day, saving users around 40,000 hours of time in total.
Yuanfudao is also trying to build the country’s biggest education-related database generated from the everyday experiences of real students. Using this, the six-year-old company – which has a long line of big-name investors including Warburg Pincus, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners China – aims to reinvent how children are taught in China.
“By checking nearly 100 million problems every day, we have developed a deep understanding of the kind of mistakes students make when facing certain problems,” said Li Xin, co-founder of Yuanfudao – which means “ape tutor” in Chinese – in a recent interview. “The data gathered through the app can serve as a pillar for us to provide better online education courses.”