AI company paid $4.3M as teaching tool at NYC schools touts ‘artificial’ reviews on website

LINC co-founder and co-CEO Jason Green at right smiling in selfie in front of stage/presentation screen. Top right inset of his company's LINC product showing teacher reviews; bottom right inset of screenshot from YourWai AI teaching assistant website.
LINC co-founder and co-CEO Jason Green at right smiling in selfie in front of stage/presentation screen. Top right inset of his company's LINC product showing teacher reviews; bottom right inset of screenshot from YourWai AI teaching assistant website.

The company providing an artificial intelligence teaching tool to Brooklyn high schools boasted “testimonials” from phantom NYC teachers on its website, The Post has learned.

Jason Green, the co-CEO and co-founder of Learning Innovation Catalyst, or LINC, happens to be a pal of schools chancellor David Banks.

Green visited Martha’s Vineyard last summer with Banks; Banks’ partner, first deputy mayor Sheena Wright; and several kids on vacation, according to a Department of Education insider and photos viewed by The Post.

The AI company used fake names in “testimonials” by NYC teachers and says it has no proof real educators gave them.. yourwai.com
The AI company used fake names in “testimonials” by NYC teachers and says it has no proof real educators gave them.. yourwai.com

LINC has collected $4.3 million in city funds since 2018 for “professional development and curriculum,” including $2.3 million this school year, according to city records.

Its AI tool Yourwai, which generates lesson plans for teachers, is now being tested in Brooklyn schools.

Four names attached to Yourwai’s testimonials did not appear in city payroll records: “Emily Johnson,” “Tyler Anderson,” “Cameron Williamson” and “Ralph Edwards.”

Four other fake names — “Kevin Anderson,” “Christopher Miller,” “Michael Davis” and “Jessica Rodriguez” — were too common to determine their authenticity.

The Miller quote had an odd glitch, referencing a Puerto Rican private school halfway through: “Teachers love it! – The Palmas Academy elementary school coordinator – this tool was used by 40 teachers over 300 times in less than a week.”

“I love YOURWAI!!,” gushed “NYC Administrator Cameron Williams.”

“Yourwai is very education specific and I love the tools built in ready to use,” the website quoted “NYC administrator Tyler Anderson.”

Yourwai is “very education specific,” was attributed to “NYC administrator Tyler Anderson,” a fake name. yourwai.com
Yourwai is “very education specific,” was attributed to “NYC administrator Tyler Anderson,” a fake name. yourwai.com
“Ralph Edwards” did not appear in city Department of Education records. yourwai.com
“Ralph Edwards” did not appear in city Department of Education records. yourwai.com
Jessica Rodriguez was one of the eight bogus names used in Yourwai “testimonials.” yourwai.com
Jessica Rodriguez was one of the eight bogus names used in Yourwai “testimonials.” yourwai.com

“This was the highlight of my year,” raved “NYC Administrator Ralph Edwards.”

After an inquiry by The Post, Yourwai immediately scrubbed the names and references to NYC from the quotes.

“The testimonials on our website were anonymized for compliance purposes,” it said in a statement. “We have removed these aliases from our website to clear up confusion.”

Jason Green is the co-founder and co-CEO of LINC learning.
Jason Green is the co-founder and co-CEO of LINC learning.
One suspicious testimonial from a “NYC teacher” randomly referenced a Puerto Rican private school. yourwai.com
One suspicious testimonial from a “NYC teacher” randomly referenced a Puerto Rican private school. yourwai.com
Yourwai removed the teachers’ “aliases” and references to NYC following an inquiry from The Post. yourwai.com
Yourwai removed the teachers’ “aliases” and references to NYC following an inquiry from The Post. yourwai.com

The company claimed the quotes came from actual teachers and administrators, but said it could not identify who made them–or even confirm they worked for NYC public schools.

“We cannot share the real name of the user who shared specific testimonials, because the name of the user was not stored in our database,” the company said. “We cannot even confirm the organization of the user who shared testimonials.”

The city Conflicts of Interest Board forbids city employees to let vendors use their NYC titles in promotional material without written permission by their agencies.

Asked whether the DOE granted permission to quote school employees, the company did not answer.

The DOE did not respond to an inquiry.

Jason Green is the co-CEO and co-founder of Learning Innovation Catalyst, or LINC, maker of the Yourwai AI tool. X @jasontoddgreen
Jason Green is the co-CEO and co-founder of Learning Innovation Catalyst, or LINC, maker of the Yourwai AI tool. X @jasontoddgreen

Janice Ross, superintendent of Brooklyn North high schools, hailed Yourwai as an educational boon at a March 13 parent council meeting.

“Teachers spend hours creating lesson plans. They should not be doing that any more,” she said.

Ross and Green also enjoy a close relationship, according to LinkedIn posts touting their seven-year working ties.

Janice Ross, superintendent of Brooklyn North high schools, in blue dress alongside Jason Green, co-founder and co-CEO of LINC, at an event cited on LinkedIn.
Janice Ross, superintendent of Brooklyn North high schools, in blue dress alongside Jason Green, co-founder and co-CEO of LINC, at an event cited on LinkedIn.

Both Ross and Green boasted about Yourwai’s “launch” in posts this month.

LINC was first introduced in Brooklyn North high schools in 2017, Green noted.

Yourwai said it is offering the program to NYC schools for free as a pilot through the end of June.

“Our approach helps teachers use artificial intelligence, and technology more broadly, as a support and enhancement of their work, not as a replacement for the work that only human educators are capable of,” the company said in a statement.

Schools Chancellor David Banks last year embraced AI in schools and reversed the DOE’s ban on the technology. William Farrington
Schools Chancellor David Banks last year embraced AI in schools and reversed the DOE’s ban on the technology. William Farrington

“Jason Green is not personal friends with Chancellor Banks,” it added, but did not explain the Martha’s Vineyard visit.

Critics have warned against using AI as a “crutch” and because of ts tendency to display biases and falsehoods. AI programs have been widely criticized for “diverse” content that is factually inaccurate.

The Yourwai software was “integrated” with Black History 365, an ethnic studies curriculum, Green wrote in the LinkedIn posts.

AI programs have been blasted for producing historically inaccurate images and information.
AI programs have been blasted for producing historically inaccurate images and information.

“Bringing BH365 and LINC together is game changing and ensuring teachers have the access to Black History curriculum easily and readily,” Ross added.

Banks this week declared he is “fighting like heck” to restore $170 million in early childhood education budget cuts, among other DOE funding reductions.