By Kevin Bushweller
Bring up the idea of even the possibility of artificially intelligent robots replacing some of what teachers do, and you are likely to spark a tornado of anger among many educators. Intelligent machines could never match human interactions, they argue. Such moves would be a giant step toward a digital dystopia in education.
That kind of reaction to the role of AI robots in education clearly played out in our recent Big Ideas survey of K-12 teachers, which featured questions about robotics. The vast majority of teachers, 84 percent, disagreed with the suggestion that student learning would likely improve if more K-12 teachers had AI-powered robots working with them as classroom assistants. More than 90 percent did not think that student learning would improve in classrooms where chronically low-performing human teachers were replaced by artificially intelligent robots.