2 Sigma Education

Posted: 2024-04-03

It is a pretty well known fact that if you give kids one-on-one tutoring from experts, they outperform classroom-educated students by an absurd two standard deviations. The effect size is absolutely mind-boggling, and a damning brand of indictment against the entire modern education system.

The problem is that this stuff clearly doesn’t scale, for two reasons; first of all there isn’t enough experts to go around, as it would require a large chunk of the adult population to be experts dedicated to tutoring, and second of all, even if this was the case, having a dozen or more teachers per student would trivially be something like 300x more expensive than having 20-30 students per teacher.

As realizing this would be a boon for humanity on par with antibiotics, it is tantalizing to ask if GPTs could fill the role of a tutor in some capacity. Unlikely in their current iteration, as their training data is too noisy and they are entirely too passive; but sometime in the future, with modifications made, it doesn’t seem obviously impossible.