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Rikke Toft Nørgård

Human futures amongst robot teachers?

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  • Rikke Toft Nørgård
  • Niamh Ni Bhroin, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Charles Melvin Ess, University of Oslo, Norway
In 2009 the world’s first robot teacher, Saya, was introduced into a classroom. Saya could express six basic emotions and shout orders like 'be quiet'. Since 2009, instructional robot technologies have emerged around the world and it is estimated that robot teachers may become a regular technological feature in the classroom and even 'take over' from human teachers within the next ten to fifteen years.   The paper set out to examine some of the possible ethical implications for human futures in relation to the immanent rise of robot teachers. This is done through combining perspectives on technology coming from design, science and technology, education, and philosophy (McCarthy & Wright, 2004; Jasanoff, 2016; Selwyn 2016; Verbeek, 2011). The framework calls attention to how particular robot teachers institute certain educational, experiential and existential terrains within which human learning takes place. Taken together, the framework presents a way to critically interrogate ethical implications and impact of their interaction and experience design. Before handing over the pedagogical formation of learners to robot teachers, we need to pause and consider the way their design work on humans over time as they come to shape the being, doing and thinking of the next generation. What might happen if we unreflectively put robot teachers in charge of teaching and educating our future generation in their most formative years? References Verbeek, P.P. (2011). Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Selwyn, N. (2016). Is technology good for education? Cambridge: Polity Press. McCarthy, J. & Wright, P. (2004). Technology as experience. The MIT Press. Jasanoff, S. (2016). The ethics of invention: Technology and the human future. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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