Life of a student is full of trials and experiences. Every conscious person understands that he or she needs to get an excellent education, knowledge and experience, in order to build a meaningful career in future. Nevertheless, the studying process may sometimes be frustrating. Students may face serious problems on their way to getting degree, such as lack of time to complete the required tasks, absence of specific knowledge that allows fulfilling the posed requirements or even lack of confidence in their abilities and skills. While modern life of a student poses substantial questions regarding the suitability to ever changing environment, it also gives innovative possibilities and solutions. The current essay discusses an unstandardized approach to studying, using the help of robots. Thus, there is a number of advantages when artificial intellect serves as a training model for students.
First and foremost, a robot has a superior knowledge and will not be biased, as it has no personal preferences, like human does. In other words, depersonalized contact may be an excellent choice for academic training. Second, some students may need a personal consultant who will be able to teach without focusing on one’s mistakes, reproaches, and timing. The negative effect of such innovation may be a switch in students’ preferences from real professors to artificial intelligence. The current essay has an aim to present both positive and negative effects from implementation of a robot into a learning process and explain the prevailing positive consequences.
University education is a “must” for those who plan to get a placement at a well-paid job, build own business, work in the sphere of education, medicine and in many other areas. University advertising brochures promise interesting studies, top-notch professors, convenient curriculum and bright future upon graduation. However, very often during the program students understand that their expectations are not fulfilled. For instance, students do not expect that university courses may require the enormous amount of time for reading, completing tasks and prepare for the classes. Thus, some of them cannot manage their time and feel totally disoriented and unsuccessful. Besides, many students feel frustrated because they cannot build efficient relationships with professors or advisors. This gap may lead to misunderstanding and, in some cases, may even discourage students.
Even though thousands of students are left with their problems on their own, it is better to find the adequate solution. Failing to adapt to new studying environment may lead to rather negative consequences. Some students may not be successful in their studies, get poor grades and be expelled from the university. In fact, high dropout rate is a big problem in the USA. According to the americangraduate.ninenet.org, statistics shows that “Each year, approximately one million students drop out of high school. That’s roughly 7,000 every day” (PBS NewsHour, 2012). Whereas there are a number of students who feel that education is useless in their lives, there is also a part who drop out because they do not find compromise with teachers, or do not receive the adequate understanding. The situation with universities is even more frightening. “Only 33% of the freshmen who enter the University of Massachusetts, Boston, graduate within six years. Less than 41% graduate from the University of Montana, and 44% from the University of New Mexico” (Leonhardt, 2009). Particular numbers mean that an entire system of the US degree education fails to find adequate measures to stop high drop rates. While some students integrate easily into university life, others may fail to do so or follow the program with low academic performance and graduate program with unfulfilled potential.
For the students who are challenged by the academic life, Robots and Apps for Humanity Company developed a winning solution. The University of La Verne community offered to purchase the newly invented robot “Learny” with artificial intelligence. The software for the robot allows to download the maximum information that is available for the university disciplines. Thus, Learny will possess superior knowledge in any downloaded discipline. Its artificial intellect will help in a communication process. A student may test and develop his/her knowledge through various means of communication - conversation with a robot, submitting written material or requesting the individual training program for the chosen topic and level. The most positive aspect here is that Learny will be able to gather all the information about student and his/her progress, choose specific questions and tests that suit the student’s level, explain the information to a particular student in a cohesive way.
Another advantage of Learny is depersonalized contact. Learny will not treat students better or worse based on their mental capacity, race, physical appearance, voice and other human characteristics. A learning robot will be totally unbiased and will only assess the knowledge and student’s progress. The students who cannot set a contact with professor may find the effective way out by getting knowledge from Learny. The robot is able to read lectures, answer questions, test knowledge and assess the student’s level. Besides, students can use Learny whenever they need. They do not have to wait for office hours or for the time when the professor will have a free minute. Learny will be able to help online at any convenient time. Thus, dealing with a robot is a way to improve time-management for students, who cannot organize their day.
The implementation of robots in learning process may question the existence of human professors and, consequently, human interaction at all. Many students may switch their preferences in favor of depersonalized learning robots that do not penalize, are always ready to help and have superior intelligence. However, what is the other side of the coin? Turkle (2011) in her book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other mentions that when we incorporate machines into our lives and substitute real people with robots, “we remake ourselves and our relationships with each other through our new intimacy with machines”. The author argues that people become more and more dependent on technical devices and virtual space. Such dependence is killing human relationships, commitment to understanding and real social relations. However, who knows where is the line between human intimacy and robotic intimacy? Hanson (2014) in his article “When the Economy Transcends Humanity” says that “the artificial intelligence, in a very real sense, is you”. This idea makes sense, as the artificial intelligence is the product of human intelligence; therefore, it contains human origin by its nature.
To conclude, it is important to reaffirm that this paper offers the innovative approach to solving students’ problems with studying. A robot with artificial intelligence called “Learny” will help students learn academic program through providing additional lectures, testing, conversations and advices. This robot will be available 24/7 online, so that students will not be limited by time. Besides, Learny will have no human bias and will communicate with students with an aim of improving knowledge. Students who cannot set contact with professors and feel frustrated, will get additional training and explanations from Learny. The robot cannot substitute real professors. Alternatively, Learny may be a helpful tool that offers numerous self-training possibilities to students and improves their academic progress.