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Meet TALIA, An AI Tool For Busy Professors

by Maija Ehlinger

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter studying for an exam, sent a frantic text to a classmate asking when an essay is due – or taught a class and spent hours every night answering student emails – you’re going to want to meet TALIA.

TALIA (Teaching and Learning Intelligent Assistant), is a 24/7 office hours assistant geared towards college students. TALIA’s knowledge base is individualized to each class based on its syllabus, lecture notes, and course policies, so each class server can answer class questions in a conversational manner at any point in time.

Originally built on Discord, TALIA is quickly expanding to integrate into other popular LMS (learning management systems) and classroom communication tools like Canvas, D2L, and Slack.

Co-founder Chirag Tailor

TALIA is the latest product launched by AssignGuard, an early-stage EdTech startup based in Atlanta. It is a strategic expansion for the team that started with a focus on spotting copyright and plagiarism issues prevalent with the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT.

Co-founder Chirag Tailor said that TALIA is designed to help professors “leverage AI as a force for good in the classroom.”

AI For EdTech Good

Now, virtual teaching assistants are nothing new (Georgia Tech has been working on Jill Watson since 2015). But TALIA makes it possible to scale this AI technology to hundreds or thousands of classrooms, something that can help more universities adopt the platform quickly.

Head of Marketing Hannah Lozano Agnone

Head of Marketing Hannah Lozano Agnone added that on top of answering student questions 24/7 and saving professors time, TALIA is also “surfacing common areas of student confusion and helping instructors maintain and optimize their course material.”

Tailor said any professor, regardless of subject they teach, can benefit from using TALIA. The team told Hypepotamus that early adopters of the product are large state universities in Georgia, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.


What’s Next For The Team

On top of getting TALIA up and running for the coming semester, AssignGuard has been busy expanding the team and preparing for further growth. The team hired several account executives to help with customer service and are bringing on three Georgia Tech machine learning interns this fall.

As AssignGuard continues to build out its product, it is focused on AI safety and researching ways to combat hallucinations (a common concern across the growing AI industry).

Tailor added that the team wants to “move towards a model where we’re deploying our own large language model so that we’re not reliant on Google, OpenAI, or Microsoft.”

Following the launch of TALIA, the team is focused on hitting the national higher ed conference circuit and are actively looking for EdTech partners to join their seed round this fall.

The team also has several spots open for an upcoming TALIA pilot program this fall. Universities or professors interested in joining can learn more about the pilot here.




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