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ChatGPT-Enabled Platform Helps Dyslexic Students Read

After his son was diagnosed with dyslexia, Pittsburgh parent Scott Sosso built an artificial-intelligence platform that can learn how its users learn, adapt to their skill level and make suggestions and learning plans.

Illustration of three small people in front of two silhouettes of human heads facing each other. The inside of the silhouette on the left shows the alphabet in order, while the inside of the silhouette on the right shows the alphabet all jumbled up.
(TNS) — A decade after his son Luca was diagnosed with dyslexia, Scott Sosso developed a website to help other people with the learning disability learn to read. launched Nov. 2 with three core features: StoryLabs, which uses AI to craft stories based on a few user prompts like mountains and magic; LucaListens, which tracks phonetics to suggest real-time speaking improvements; and ProfessorAI, which builds on those insights to create a personalized learning plan.

The Pittsburgh-based platform is tailored to address specific challenges people with dyslexic face: reading, spelling, and comprehension. And because of the AI integration, it can learn how users learn to create "a personalized learning tool that continuously adapts to the reader's skill level."

That's part of Mr. Sosso's belief that "personalized learning is the future of education," he said.

An attentive parent could do some of the same work, but that takes considerable time and effort. Mr. Sosso said he struggled to help his son with homework assignments.

"We had reading specialists, therapists, psychologists," Mr. Sosso said. "He's a very bright kid. He was getting good grades but really struggling with reading."

Now a 17-year-old junior at Eden Christian Academy, Luca said a tool like this would have helped him appreciate written stories in a way he never could.

"I think my reading level would be probably be at 11th grade, right where I should be right now," he said.

As Luca goes off to study business in college, an animated version of his face will continue to guide readers as a digital mascot for Mr. Sosso said the Dora the Explorer-like icon will become increasingly expressive with generative AI.

The site requires learners to gain parental approval, under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. It was also built with safeguards to protect user information while training its AI models.

The platform is still technically in beta mode, but it is now open to paid subscribers for a $15 per user, per month fee. Families with more than one child can get 50 percent off, or prepay for $150 a year.

Mr. Sosso recommends 15-minute daily segments to consistently build the reading muscle. He said the privacy of learning online helps build confidence.

The team hopes to release an app version of early next year, followed by classroom integration. The company is already working with Provident Charter Schools, which focuses on dyslexia and other language-based learning differences. The school has a locations in Troy Hill and Beaver County. Twenty students from Provident last year helped to refine the user interface.

Students from Carnegie Mellon University also helped develop the app, seizing on the opportunity to integrate ChatGPT.

"That's when I realized that the platform had an opportunity to take off, because now we were really able to deliver a custom learning experience for every student," Mr. Sosso said, giving special credit to the CMU students: "They're really on the cutting edge of things."

The phonetic-recognition software, powerful enough to decipher distinct pronunciations, was also the result of collegiate research at the University of Michigan. currently has about 50 users, but Mr. Sosso said that's with virtually no promotion.

He said he's already had multiple inquiries from local public schools.

"The interest is there," he said.

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