Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization that produces Sesame Street, and tech company IBM announced a collaboration Wednesday.
As part of a three-year agreement, Sesame Workshop and IBM will collaborate to develop educational platforms and products that will be designed to adapt to the learning preferences and aptitude levels of individual preschoolers.
Research shows that a significant extent of brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life, making this window critical for learning and development.
The alliance will draw from Sesame Workshop’s educational content expertise garnered from over 45 years of research, and more than 1,000 studies on how young children learn best.
This expertise will combine with Watson’s natural language processing, pattern recognition, and other cognitive computing technologies to create personalized learning experiences intended to complement the roles that parents and teachers play in early development.
Watson will continuously hone and improve educational activities by studying and adapting to the aggregate experiences of anonymized groups of students.
Echoing the late 1960s, when Sesame Street’s founders convened diverse experts to help conceive the show, the Sesame-IBM team will gather leading teachers, academics, researchers, technologists, gamers, performers, and media executives to brainstorm ways in which cognitive computing can best help preschoolers learn.
Sesame Workshop and IBM are currently exploring and iterating on a wide variety of interactive platforms and interfaces for use in homes and schools.
The two companies plan to test and share prototypes with leaders in the education and technology community to allow continued refinement based on feedback and domain expertise.