In a first for education, artificially intelligent teachers are coming to schools where students will be able to learn from a digital teacher instead of a human one.
Energy company in New Zealand named ‘Vector’ collaborated with an AI company ‘Soul Machines’ in order to create an AI digital avatar named Will, where it will act as a teacher for primary schools in the country.
Will is a part of Vector’s ‘Be Sustainable with Energy’ program that is offered free-of-charge to schools to which the company provides electricity. The AI teacher is there to teach children about energy use, and different forms of renewable energy like geothermal, solar and wind, reported Vector.
The students would interact with Will, which is just a face on a screen, digitally via their desktop, tablet or mobile device. After teaching children, Will can then question them about what they learned just like a normal teacher.
Video Courtesy: Vector
Vector’s Chief Digital Officer, Nikhil Ravishankar, exclaimed that students seem particularly taken by Will. “What was fascinating to me was the reaction of the children to Will. The way they look at the world is so creative and different, and Will really captured their attention.”
“Using a digital human is a very compelling method to deliver new information to people, and I have a lot of hope in this technology as a means to deliver cost-effective, rich, educational experiences into the future,” Ravishankar continued.
Furthermore, where many countries still lack enough teachers, robots like Will can help fill in that gap. This initiative will not only save money, but will also adjust to each student’s learning style, helping them in reaching their potential.
However, digital teachers like Will still aren’t as effective as human teachers. While Will is competent on only one topic, human teachers are usually way more versatile. Also, digital teachers lack social interaction between teachers and student which is important for quality education, wrote Futurism.