White Paper

Nikita Voloboev edited this page Jun 11, 2018 · 32 revisions

Learn Anything White Paper

Translated kindly by Sun Ray to Chinese

Abstract.

We are trying to create an Open Source Website that searches through an open database of Interactive Maps focused on learning in a linear way. It leverages all of world’s knowledge in a unique way. It takes the Wikipedia model of curating knowledge but applies it to curating links in a meaningful and visual way. The entire project is Open Source, both the website and the curated by the community interactive maps that this website searches over.

Introduction

In essence, the problem that this project is trying to solve is educating people in the most efficient and fast way possible by providing the most effective study plans for learning any topic on Earth. Since the website searches through a huge selection of connected Interactive Maps with links, the user can either search for whatever topic he or she wants to learn or they can simply explore the knowledge graph we provide and stumble on some new topic and start learning that.

The resources provided should be of the highest quality as moderated by what the community thinks the most efficient path for learning the topic is. It not only provides the visual path for learning any specific topic but it also provides visual and contextual feedback of the topic the user wants to learn. For example, if the person wants to learn about vectors, we show that vectors are part of linear algebra and if user checks out the linear algebra map, he will find more related topics associated with linear algebra. This is similar to Wikipedia in that you too can start learning about linear algebra and eventually get to vectors and start reading about that. However here we only provide links to places where the person can get the knowledge needed for learning the topic. And these links can include a wiki article, a course, a book, a blog post or some YouTube video or interactive visualisation. There is a lot of freedom as to what kind of links can be shown, the focus is on quality of information. Ideally the educational links provided should be free too so as to not stop users from quitting learning the subject because they don't have the means to afford learning.

Contribution Process

Contribution and making the experience of adding and changing the content as well as having the user feel in control over what he sees and experiences is at the core of our website. Unlike when using Google, users have control over what kind of information can be presented and while Google's algorithms are tuned to show mostly the 'popular' content, Learn Anything can show any kind of content, whether it is some comment on Reddit that contains valuable information or perhaps some blog post by some unknown person on the internet that also contains very valuable information that was never surfaced on Google due to the person's blog not being optimised for SEO.

There is a lot of valuable content that is hidden to many people because users most often only care about what shows on the first page of their Google search query. As well as the fact that most users are simply not exposed to the kind of knowledge that exists out there.

With Learn Anything, our primary focus is on exploring the content rather than simply searching for it. We provide suggestions for interesting topics one can learn about and we connect each topic with other topics so even a kid can navigate the website and learn new and interesting things by simply clicking through the website and exploring.

Personalised learning

Everyone likes to learn differently. Some prefer video lectures whilst some prefer reading articles or playing and experimenting with visualisations. We want to make everyone find the resources they will most likely find useful and helpful in learning the topic. This can be achieved by creating features that learn the user's likes and preferences of kinds of resources they find most useful.

Since there maybe hundreds of resources available for learning a certain topic like is the case with machine learning, users should be able to filter out the content they want to see such as only seeing relevant courses or only seeing interactive visualisations relevant to the topic. This is also known as adaptive learning and if it is implemented well, it can guide learners to the module (resource) that is best suited for them based on the learning profile that is created.

There is of course many more features that can be added in regards to personalising the user experience and since the Website is Open Source, we hope that people will be creative with what features they want to add and will even submit the features they wish were implemented themselves. Or they can simply contribute to the discussion of what features they wish to see on the website.

Supporting the project

Currently the website is supported by kind people donating to the website on Patreon.

We wish that we could run the entire project from donations alone. We do not want to include any advertisements or sponsored content inside the website as that would defeat our vision of creating the most efficient paths for learning as sponsored content does not necessarily mean the best.

Currently the donations are not enough to cover the expenses needed to run the project, let alone cover the time it takes to create the features needed to make the website and this project the best it can be.

Conclusion

All together, we believe this will bring a huge shift to how education will be conducted in the future. We can already observe that most education that happens in the world is moving online at an incredible pace. No longer do you need to attend a university to get high quality information and knowledge on topics ranging from programming and machine learning to history, art and science. Every piece of knowledge is being shared on the internet and Google provides a wonderful tool to query all this knowledge however it falls short in its ability to explore this mass number of links and information.

We hope to create an open ecosystem for learning anything in the most efficient way so that no one gets left behind in the age of Artificial Intelligence and has the necessary skills and knowledge to do meaningful work and push our sum of human knowledge forward. This can only be done through collaboration and sharing thus everything related to the project is Open Source which means anyone can edit the content and the functionality in the way he or she sees is right.

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