Early Evidence Suggests Robots Would Make Mean, Effective Teachers But do we really want to go down this road? [Inverse]


Août 2018. My high school physics teacher held my attention as well as gravity can suspend things in mid-air. If it wasn't for a good friend of mine, I would have dozed off during each of those classes for the entirety of my senior year. Fortunately instead of having classmates or teachers to kick them awake, new research suggests that students of the future might enjoy a similar form of educational intervention, only from robots.

That's according to one new paper, published in the journal Science Robotics Wednesday, where a team of international researchers found that subjects who were asked to complete an attentional in the presence of a "threatening" or "bad" robot outperformed people who completed the assignment in front of a "good" or "friendly" machine.

In other words, robots seemed to make effective teaching aids, as long as they were mean.

Lead-author Nicolas Spatola from the University of Clermont Auvergne in France tells Inverse that his study has provided compelling, initial evidence that "mean" robots have the capability to augment human concentration, suggesting that robots could make stern but effective teaching assistants. Our grandchildren will be thrilled.

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