AI for Learning Environments

Project AILE - AI for Learning Environments

The context

Artificial Intelligence is sometimes described as the new electricity. As such, it is supposed to have a profound influence over many fields, of which Education has been repeatedly singled out. In its 2018 report on Artificial Intelligence, the committee chaired by Cedric Villani suggested that Transforming Education is the first focus. More recently, the JRC report The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Learning, Teaching, and Education, by Ikka Tuomi, addresses several important questions. More generally, the question of transforming education with the help of technology is addressed by the Sustainable Development Goal 4 adopted by the UNESCO in September 2015, or by the OECD.

Project AILE

We aim at recruiting a total of at least 20 man-months of students over the period March 2019-October 2019. The students will be working on the different research projects targeted at the learning domain we have got running, on topics defined by the group. These topics aim to be transversal and of interest not only to the individual projects but to the researchers involved. More projects will be funded through the projects we have running currently.

We will also be running research activities during the period involving simultaneously all the students and the researchers (reading groups, regular seminar for researchers and students on the topics of AILE, participation to national and international conferences in which these questions are discussed).

On June 21st we will hold a French speaking workshop at the Cité des Congrès in Nantes, which will allow to 1) have the different researchers involved in the theme to work together, 2) make visible the existing activities, 3) allow a general audience to participate.


If you have a question about the AILE project, please contact the project coordinators Olivier Aubert or Nicolas Hernandez.

Internship subjects

We have proposed a number of internships subjects. You can consult the dedicated internship page, but note that all positions are filled for the moment (2019/03/01).

The consortium

At University of Nantes and IMT Atlantique, researchers have taken on questions relating data/AI and education for some time now. Ecole Centrale Nantes havea also been active in the field. For instance:

  • Project COCo was funded by CominLabs (2012-2015). It allowed to explore the use of annotation in educational videos and enhance the online video viewing experience.
  • Project Hubble was a national project in which LS2N and IMT Atlantique researchers looked into the possibility to predict dropouts from a MOOC platform using learning analytics.
  • Project PASTEL, funded by the ANR (2016-2020) aims at using natural language processing tools in a number of learning situations.
  • Project SEDELA, supported by CominLabs, concerns the management of pedagogical e-portfolios in the cloud. It is a partnership between IMT Atlantique and LS2N.
  • Project eFIL is also supported by CominLabs and aims at building learning analytics solutions in a pedagogical context involving tablets and smartboards.
  • Project X5-GON (2018-2020) is an H2020 project of which Université de Nantes is partner. It aims and providing recommendations of open educational resources, independently of language, domain, modality, site or culture.
  • More down to earth, ClassCode is contributing to the training of teachers for coding and computational thinking and has an extension in Brittany (Class’Code en Bretagne).

These projects constitute the basis for a possible eco-system allowing to respond to more important challenges in a systematic way. The goal of project AILE is to incite collaboration, allow researchers to understand their respective strengths and expertise.

CominLab's Actions Exploratoires call represents a unique opportunity to build this eco-system, to develop some regular scientific activities (seminars, joint events), to recruit and train students.

The LS2N and IMT Atlantique teams proposing project AILE are currently involved in the actions mentioned here and are prepared to increase their activities in the theme over the next 5 years.

Additionally, the Center for Pedagogical Development (CDP) of the University of Nantes will also facilitate the development of the collaborative eco-system mentioned above. It will make available its skills and abilities to sustainably potentiate manufacturing spaces, contributing experiences to live, to understand and project in the uses of AI in education on the territory. It will thus be in support of

  • translation of AILE's research into sustainable learning objects;
  • acceleration by AI research to professionalize future users;
  • consolidation of IA experiences in education through reflective analysis of the activity;
  • the creation of groups of agents of change to spread independently and by proximity the data from research in AI to the UN;
  • methodologies for multidimensional integration of dynamic complex objects in existing organizations that use AI in the future.

Cominlabs Univ. Nantes IMT Atlantique PIA

This work has received a French government support granted to the CominLabs excellence laboratory and managed by the National Research Agency in the "Investing for the Future" program under reference ANR-10-LABX-07-01