Why We Exist

"If you truly understand something, you should be able to speak on it"

Welcome to Sherpa, a tool designed to help teachers scale oral evaluations in the classroom.

We are Joe and Shaurya, students studying at Stanford University and researchers at the Stanford AI & Education lab. We’re trying to re-imagine what education should look like in the age of AI, and we are beyond excited to show you what we have developed. Our journey began nearly a year ago, when we woke up at Stanford to realize the way we learned had changed forever. AI had broken into the classroom.

Sweeping across K-12 education and beyond, traces of artificial intelligence can now be found everywhere – from your student’s essay on the Great Gatsby mentioning a quote that never existed, to young children building a reliance on ChatGPT.

Studying the impacts of AI in the classroom for over a year, Joe and I have witnessed the bleeding edge – and having peered into the future, we believe the answer to our concerns lie in the past.

From the dialogues of Socrates to the resounding debates in the hallways of Oxford, one form of evaluation has stood the test of time — oral conversation.

Viva voce, to speak “with the living voice”, has long been the gold standard of demonstrating your knowledge. However, with an increased focus on standardization and the pressure of evaluating students at scale, oral evaluations became an artifact… long forgotten.

At Sherpa, we are reviving the living voice, scaling oral conversations for the classroom. In the age of AI, we believe there is no better assessment to gauge what your students truly know. If you truly understand something, you should be able to speak on it.

If you are reading this, thank you for giving our idea a chance. From sharing your perspective in online teacher communities, to discussing the implications of AI in the classroom, each of you are endlessly curious – and each of you truly care.

It is this care that fuels every single minute we spend working on Sherpa.

Today, we would like to return this gift to you. Play with the tool, question it, stretch it, and break it. All we ask is that if your experience moves you, share it with another teacher you know would care.

This is our first step on the journey into the uncharted territory of AI. This technology should be embraced, not surveilled. We hope to be the Sherpas, “guides from the East”, for your classroom, and help you embrace the future without compromising on the learning of your students.

To speaking on it with you soon

Joseph Tey and Shaurya Sinha

Conversation Breeds Understanding

Conversation Breeds Understanding

Take a glimpse at the future of the classroom

Take a glimpse at the future

of the classroom