Are we Entering the Age of Teacherbots?

Could this be true? Will we start seeing teacherbots who are applying artificial intelligence to do the jobs of teachers one day? Would they do a better job than humans? It might be a good idea to pay attention to some of the thoughts circulating about education’s future.

Occupations are Being Upgraded

The world of employment work is rapidly changing because of new and emerging technologies. And there are lots of examples to prove this point. A lawyer in Chatbot saved some 160,000 parking fines in New York and London. A hotel in China that has 30 stories was constructed in only 360 hours because of all the advances in technological prefabrication. Nike can construct and fine-tune prototypes for shoes in just hours because of 3D printing. McDonald’s uses cognitive technology to collect drive-through orders and convert them to text that is directly fed directly into a point-of-sale process.

Is Your Teaching Job in Trouble?

However, these efficiencies bring up the natural question as to what will eventually happen to the jobs of working people? What about those folks who are taking orders and making shoes?

teacherbotsThe Futurist Thomas Frey claims that the teaching profession is most likely under those threats. Frey is predicting that about two billion jobs are going to disappear by the year 2030. And among those vanishing occupations are those of teachers, and also people who worked in the transportation and power industries.

Frey claims there are almost 25% of all kids today who are not even attending school at all and he believes we are short about 18 million teachers worldwide.

“There simply aren’t enough teachers at the right time and place to satisfy our growing thirst for knowledge.

“Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.”

Frey points out that we are already moving away from a teacher-centric brand of schooling to a model that is more learning-based, where ‘location’ is not as important.

He affirms that teaching needs experts in the field. And the new teacherless education model will use these experts to develop and create the materials, but will not require that expert to be present every time it is presented.

Frey feels like we are standing on the edge of a new artificial intelligence (AI) revolution.

He envisions a world where we will see teacherbots who are using AI that will be able to learn and understand every single student’s interests, their preferred tools, and their unique methods of learning. This AI will alert the bot whenever a skill has become deficient, and what exactly is required to address the deficiency and when it has been addressed.

Brad McBean has argued on Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog that there may be jobs at risk of becoming automated, humans will still be that critical ingredient in all future workplaces. The function of human innovation and ingenuity will always be in demand.

“McKinsey’s latest report on automation displacement reminds us that, although almost every occupation has partial automation potential, humans will remain an essential ingredient in the future workplace equation. Even those jobs that can be easily automated, such as nursing or teaching, rely heavily on interactions between people and expertise that stretches beyond the knowledge of facts.”

Even though teaching was on Frey’s list of disappearing future jobs, coaching was on his list of occupations that would be in demand for the future. This seems to indicate a shifting role, instead of a replacement.