Wednesday, November 17, 2010

English-teaching robot?

With the advancement of technology, robots are widely used to help humans do a sheer variety of tasks. From doing dishes, mopping floor, and soothing crying baby for ordinary household to detecting and disassembling improvised explosive devices on the streets of Bagdad, robots have become more and more indispensable to us. As we continue to make robots more versatile to become our able helpers, is there anyone concerning that fictional plot of robots rising and trying to take control of this planet in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator series movies might become reality one day? Well, robots, at the moment, are not yet ready to dominate the world. But they are going to take your jobs away first.

Some thirty thousand foreigners employed to teach English in South Korea as we speak probably have to start typing their resumes because robo-teachers began to teach in a few schools late last year. South Korean government hopes to engage robot teachers in 18 more schools by the end of this year, reported the November 22 issue of Time magazine. This would be part of the plan to keep South Korean students more competitive in English.

No substantial statistics are available now to show that robo-teachers are more competent than flesh-and-blood native speaker English teachers; however, one sure thing about Robots is they will never bother the school authority about their pay, bonus, and paid leave. Other costs including teacher training, meal, and accommodation are also saved. On top of that, “hiring” robots to teach, headmasters never need to remind “teachers” to be patient and caring with students because robo-teachers will never lose their temper.

In private, I selfishly hope that the maturely developed model of robo-teacher does not become a reality before I retire.

No comments: