Nowadays we welcome every smart idea with a grin and a shout of joy. However, sometimes all that delight may turn out to be premature because we rarely think about the consequences of smart inventions. On that note - is teachers’ job bound to become obsolete?
Although replacing teachers with AI entities may seem like an obvious turn of events – it can lead to losing the human touch along the way.
According to Professor Moshe Vardi, in less than 30 years, robots will take over jobs in most sectors, including education. His theory seems possible, given that right now, robots already play their part in teaching (more as assistants than teachers themselves, however).
Let us just stop for a second and think: is the shift in education really possible?
Looking at the market we have a range of teaching robots to choose from. Most popular is definitely the NAO robot – humanoid that has been evolving since the beginning of 2006. About 9,000 NAOs have already been used at schools throughout the world.
It ‘specialises’ in teaching autistic kids and has amazing results, yet it is still only helping traditional classes, conducted by human teachers.
Robots are also a way to enhance the work teachers do at school – machines with voice recognition, applications mimicking gestures, and toys using advanced mechatronics, are just a few examples.
It is worth mentioning that each and every one of these devices can be the very tool that will lead children into their future dream fields.
Sphero is yet another example. It is not only an amazing toy, but can also introduce our kids to basic programming. Then we have PLEO rb which looks like an adorable toy and teaches children about biology, responds to their questions and recognises its surroundings. And the list goes on and on.
Robots are a way to improve the current educational system, supporting more personal and direct approach towards kids, especially those who need more attention.
There are also ways to involve not humanoid entities. For example, special software algorithms are able to gather and analyse data in order to apply the most suited program to each student. Thanks to this pupils can develop at their own pace, sometimes even exceeding the expectations for their age.
So, is teachers’ future on the verge of an impending end? No, not at all. The human and humanoid hybrid can become our future though. Since the combination of real feelings, knowledge and human touch mixed with technology can really bear some meaningful fruit, why not make the most of it?