How Soon Until Robots Teach Elementary School?

Several research projects are currently working to make robots more responsive to children's needs, and new research suggests that the physical presence of robots helps kids learn. 

What's the Latest Development?


Any widespread adoption of robots into society will depend on their ability to interact subtly with humans, reading our gestures and emotional cues accurately and responding appropriately. Currently, a National Science Foundation project aims to "develop robots that can help children with disabilities learn social and cognitive skills." At Michigan State University’s Embodied Intelligence Laboratory, engineers are studying how robotic learning and cognitive development "can look more like human learning in order to strengthen the connection between children and robot teachers."

What's the Big Idea?

As machine intelligence advances beyond the mechanical proficiency of factory-floor robots, white collar jobs are edging closer to automation. Computers already perform some tasks of law clerks and nurses, so could the teaching profession be given over, at least in part, to robots? As the digital revolution hits education, recent research out of Yale suggests that tele-linked classes are not as effective at teaching as when a teaching robot is physically present. Yale professor Brian Scassellati says that the physical presence of a teacher aids in our learning because we naturally respond better to things we perceive as being alive.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less