We were thinking of small issues or inconveniences people face often, and discovered that we often have to read long articles just to figure out the gist. This led us to thinking about lexile levels which we encountered in elementary school which were used to give students who weren't experienced with reading easier articles and students with more experience harder ones, even though they all covered the same exact topic. The thing with many of those applications was that the people handwrote all versions of those articles, and that obviously meant the reading choices were limited. This led us to the final idea of automating this process to allow anyone to make any article or piece of reading easier or more complex based on their desires.
What it does
The website allows users to input their own text into it. Then, the website will print a simplified version of that text that uses easier and shorter language to the left, and a more complex and detailed version to the right.
How we built it
We utilized AI to train the program to convert from an average text difficulty to easier or harder ones by feeding it samples of such conversions through multiple lexile websites and sources.
Challenges we ran into
- AI did not work perfectly or as intended sometimes, due to the time restrictions we were not able to teach it using enough data, which is why it doesn't do exactly what we thought it do in some situations
- Finding the data to use for teaching. Lexile is not a popular tool, and basically only the US uses it, so it wasn't easy finding articles and texts that followed the template of easy-normal-hard that we needed for our tool.
- The AI tool we used also took up a lot of space and took a while to run sometimes.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We had to come up with an idea, figure out the execution, study the tools, and finally actually make it all in a span of two days, which we're proud of since that's impressive given the time constraints.
What we learned
We learned how to work with AI. While we knew the concepts behind it, we never actually had hands on experience with it, so teaching it and watching the results was an incredibly teaching experience.
What's next for Colex
If we had more time, we'd definitely give it more data to perfect the way it generates the easier and harder texts. Also, just like lexile levels are more detailed than easy-normal-hard and actually use around 15 different levels, we could potentially expand our website to also have more levels for more flexibility.