UK school appoints AI robot as ‘principal’ – reports
A preparatory school in the United Kingdom (UK) has named an Artificial Intelligence (AI) robot as its “principal headteacher” to enhance decision making, according to reports.
Cottesmore School, located in West Sussex, collaborated with an artificial intelligence developer to design Abigail Bailey, the robot, with the purpose of assisting the school’s headmaster.
Tom Rogerson, headmaster of Cottesmore, told The Telegraph that he is using the robot to give him advice on issues ranging from how to support fellow staff members to helping pupils with ADHD and writing school policies. The technology works in a similar way to ChatGPT, the online AI service where users type questions, and they are answered by the chatbot’s algorithms.
Rogerson said the AI principal has been developed to have a wealth of knowledge in machine learning and educational management, with the ability to analyse vast amounts of data.
He said: “Sometimes having someone or something there to help you is a very calming influence. It’s nice to think that someone who is unbelievably well trained is there to help you make decisions.”
“It doesn’t mean you don’t also seek counsel from humans. Of course you do. It’s just very calming and reassuring knowing that you don’t have to call anybody up, bother someone, or wait around for an answer.”
He added: “Being a school leader, a headmaster, is a very lonely job. Of course we have head teacher’s groups, but just having somebody or something on tap that can help you in this lonely place is very reassuring.”
The Cottesmore school charges fees up to almost 32,000 pounds a year for UK students.
The school, which has received accolades such as Tatler’s “Prep School of the Year,” is a boarding institution catering to boys and girls between the ages of four and 13.