As technology is taking giant leaps and bounds, artificial intelligence is sweeping aside old notions of education and human tutors are expected to be sidelined soon.

There are many advocates of replacing teachers with AI machines, but Jesper Tække, a Denmark-based university professor, argues that handing over the job of instilling knowledge into young minds to robots will have adverse implications.

Jesper, who has a Ph.D. in media sociography from the IT University of Copenhagen, works at the Centre for Internet Research at the School of Communication and Culture of Aarhus University.

Jesper Tække, an associate professor (Ph.D.) at Aarhus University, Denmark (Photo credit: Aarhus University)
Jesper Tække, an associate professor (Ph.D.) at Aarhus University, Denmark (Photo credit: Aarhus University)

In an interview with Via News, he said the world is witnessing a huge rise in using big data and profiling students.

“Students are being treated like trivial machines,” the researcher said, adding that AI should be used only as an assistant and a learning tool.

“AI can help teachers but it is now being used to, for example, read face expressions to figure out if the student is having the ‘right’ attitude toward the school system and the teacher. It is really scary.”

He was referring to the fact that facial recognition technology is being used in some schools in China to monitor how attentive students are in class. The use of this technology is also fast becoming a reality in US schools.

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Proponents says facial recognition can enhance the learning experience and serve as a crucial crime-fighting tool, while opponents cite privacy and bias concerns.  

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Jesper believes it is a matter of regret that the coronavirus pandemic is being exploited by some large companies around the world to advance their agendas in the field of education.

The ultimate goal of education is to help people think critically and decide for themselves, he said, adding that a machine should not be allowed to make decisions for people.

“We really like the smart media, but we do not like to be profiled and just have artificial intelligence machines as our teachers. They can help us teach better, but we should not let them play the main role of teaching. We want a human teacher to be there with students,” he said, expressing the view of like-minded academics.

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