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WILL ROBOTS REPLACE LIVE TEACHERS?

By Dave Scherer on 2020-06-28 09:09:00

Artificial intelligence is used more and more often in many areas - from beautiful pictures in the installation to defense systems and medicine. In education it is also applicable, because there are bots that learn from our mistakes, learn to recognize our scribbles when we draw, or help us finish the word we started. In addition, there are many services and courses for self-study, where there is no communication with living people (write a real consultant can only if you do not work any service on the site).

In the field of foreign language learning, too, there is a tendency to gradually supplant the importance of the teacher in learning. His work becomes more and more similar to the function of a consultant, who can be called only when something is not clear. A striking example of this is the popularity of self-study services (Puzzle, Easy Ten, etc.), where the role of the teacher is completely excluded. And everything is so personalized with the help of Big Data that the student has a sense of individual approach, replacing communication with a living person.

Teachers also get on the heels of Google and Skype solutions, which translate speech quite skillfully, or even special Pilot headphones. These services immediately translate what is said, even if not yet in all languages and in the best way. This means that students have less and less desire to learn a language. However, it is not yet possible to write essays with the help of robots. But you can always turn to the paper writing service.

It may seem like it's time for teachers to learn a new craft, so they don't have to work at all. But actually, it's not that bad.

It is believed that in the first years of a child's life and in adolescence, learning is given to a person almost effortlessly, as we are all born extremely inquisitive and seek to learn as soon as possible why the grass is green, and crossing the road to red is dangerous. This is because our brain has a great ability at this age - neural plasticity, which helps it to adapt as a result of experience.

So what's the secret?

It's about imitating and constantly learning to maintain that same neural plasticity. And it is not a matter of trying to figure out the principle of this or that phenomenon, but of using the already ready experience of another person. Children try to repeat after adults and this happens in a social environment, not in the study of their own. That is, it is possible, of course, to teach a child to repeat words and phrases, for example, through films. But it will be much faster to let him repeat the words and phrases for his older brothers and sisters, having the opportunity to re-interview and clarify everything.

It is on imitation make a bet developers robotics, and already now there are special social robots that are used in some kindergartens or as babysitters for children. 

And here you can start to argue that in the same training teacher can also be replaced by a well-trained robot that will simulate the necessary human qualities. This is a really good idea, which many inventors are working on. But there is one big problem - teaching foreign languages, for example, involves not only imitation, but also communication with a person live. And this means that there will always be an element of spontaneity and surprise, in which experienced and skilful teachers show creativity and do not act on a template, if necessary, changing the structure of the lesson and the type of task.

There is no need to go far in search of examples - take the cases when after a certain number of lessons and listening to the material, the student still finds something incomprehensible. In this case, the robot just goes on to repeat the material already passed or starts a new topic. In this case, the instructor usually gives assignments from a different, newer source, motivates the student and encourages him or her according to his or her emotional state, rather than according to the established standard scheme. That is, he is able to improvise, which AI is still difficult to teach. It is simple - the teacher is familiar with the concept of empathy, which is not yet possible to convey to the robot.

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