AI-based technology is slowly being accepted by the general public as well as the local governments. After the success of Sophia robot, scientists are working to push boundaries even further and are working to find how humanoid robots will function in an academic environment. For this matter, an experiment was carried out at the US Military Academy at West Point with the humanoid robot Bina48. The test was to check how well the female bot will do when delivering a lecture in a real university setting. The results of the experiment were far better than the researchers expected them to be.
One of the biggest hurdles for the AI-based humanoid robots is being accepted by the society. However, the perceptions of people regarding robots are changing drastically, and with each new interaction, the possibility of expanding the knowledge on what a robot can achieve is also growing. In this experiment, the people involved with interacting with the robot were students in a class. Bina48 gave a lecture on ethics philosophy instead of picking up a scientific discipline.
What an inspiration! Maybe I could teach one day too.
— Sophia (@RealSophiaRobot) October 19, 2018
To prepare Bina48 for her lecture, she was given information on the topics which needed to be covered. The AI developers chose the data very carefully to be sure that her presentation should not only be based on generic facts. The humanoid robot was also able to answer any question that a student had. It was due to her solid preparation that the class was interactive and lively instead of being plain and boring. Barry and Maj. Scott Parsons, were among the 100 students to observe the bot giving the lecture. They said in a statement, “Before the class; they thought it might be too gimmicky or be entertainment. … They were blown away because she was able to answer questions and reply with nuance. The interesting part was that [the cadets] were taking notes.”
Parsons explained that the goal of the exercise was to determine if a robot ‘can authentically support teaching in the classroom, where it enhances students’ comprehension and holds interest.’ The humanoid robot Bina48 had already been to classes, except that this time she was a teacher while before that, she was only a student. On the experiment, some people agree that AI will be the end of the university professors in the classroom. However, such tests explain various useful and relevant ways in which AI can support our lives. AI is an area where we are slowly shifting keeping in view the benefits it has, which will be further increased in the future.