Will Robots Replace Teachers?

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Nowadays, high technology is an integral part of our life. And it’s not just limited to streaming a TV show or playing video games. Every school, college, and university student today is able to find any necessary information on the Internet. Besides research, information technology has become a solution for countless problems in education. For example, distance isn’t an issue now when online lessons and conferences are common. You can also use educational websites with text and video on any subject, and computers allow students to conduct virtual experiments to make the educational process more interesting and enjoyable. However, information technology is still mainly used to assist teachers. Is it possible for artificial intelligence to monopolize the whole educational process?

Simply put, can robots replace teachers?

The Benefits

With a robot teacher, all the information students receive is absolutely accurate and up-to-date. Unemotional robots are not able to develop sympathy for particular students and therefore can’t show favoritism. They will only give grades in accordance with the level of knowledge, no excuses accepted or needed. The possibility of cheating will be excluded as well. But students will still be able to use professional writing services like Pro-Papers to perform academic assignments like essays, reports, and coursework.

Robot teachers don’t need salaries, vacations, or sick leaves. Nor can they lose temper. If students don’t understand something, they will just explain the same thing over and over. The conflict between a student and a teacher becomes impossible.

A high durability of robot teachers also gives them an advantage over humans. Moreover, they don’t take breaks or sleep, so students can contact them whenever they study.

All-nighters are no match for a robot teacher!

Robot teachers can keep a profile on every student in their memory banks containing all the data about their abilities, knowledge level, character, emotional condition, and normal reactions. This way, they will know exactly how to approach each student. Individualizing the testing process and personalizing all the tasks according to student’s preferences will not be a problem.

The Disadvantages

Naturally, there is nothing with just pros. The cons of using robot teachers include:

  • the rise of unemployment in the education sector

  • high maintenance expenses

  • the further development of technology addition among children

  • the impossibility of creative tasks grading

  • the lack of passion for teaching.

Besides, humans gain more experience over time and become better at their jobs.

While robots will always stay at the same level and use only standard solutions of the problems, a good human teacher can come up with multiple alternative variants. Searching for an alternative way to solve a problem helps students develop a flexible and inquiring mind.

Students taught by a robot will receive all the necessary knowledge but nothing more. Artificial intelligence is unable to see that something is wrong and give some personal advice. It can’t help children with problems that don’t concern studying.

Many people claim that they liked one particular school subject more than others because of the person who taught it. But the love of learning cannot be cultivated by a machine. Furthermore, the over-presence of robots in our life might cause the diminishing of our own abilities. With this, there is a chance of robot teachers becoming a necessity rather than a convenience.

The dissemination of mechanical teachers may cause another problem. To deal with them, students are supposed to have a tablet or a laptop, which isn’t cheap. This might widen the gap between the rich and the poor unless the governments decide to fund all the assistive devices as well.

Real-Life Experience

Even though there are still a lot of arguments on the matter, robot teachers are not just a part of science fiction anymore. Some schools have already tried replacing human teachers with artificial intelligence in different countries, including Japan, China, Australia, Finland, South Korea, and certain parts of the United States.

The Japanese were the first to use a robot as a teacher. Its name is Saya, and it knows foreign languages, can read aloud, give out individual assignments, and change its facial expression.

In South Korea, robots are used as foreign language teachers due to the lack of competent human ones. For now, they only work under supervision, but, as technologies evolve, they will become more autonomous in the future.

Robot teachers can be found in a few Finnish schools as well. There are humanoid ones that can teach 23 foreign languages and mechanical math teachers that look like owls. According to the developers, those “teachers” possess artificial intelligence and are capable of customizing the assignments for each student. However, instead of being actual replacements, they are more like teachers’ assistants.

In the Next Ten Years

Many scientists believe that robots will replace teachers as early as the next decade. By that time, artificial intelligence will be able to adapt to the individual needs of each student and figure out the most optimal way of the educational process. Therefore, traditional academic education will no longer be needed.

Such technologies are already being developed in Silicon Valley. They will allow robots to determine children's way of thinking, read their facial expressions and choose the best way of dealing with them. At the same time, due to technological restrictions, robots used only as learning and educational tools. They not only provide assistance in the educational process but also encourage children to learn.

To summarize, people should not fear technological progress. Robots can enhance the classroom experience, and it’s a teacher’s objective to find the best way to train people with a help of a robot.