Your Child’s Next Teacher Could Be a Robot

Today, those looking for a non-traditional education have limited access to online classrooms, especially ones that are for-credit and affordable. But Thomas Frey predicts that, within 14 years, learning from robots will be entirely commonplace — even for children.

Frey is a futurist who began as an engineer at IBM and went on to found the DaVinci Institute, a networking firm and think tank for technical innovation to bring about a brighter future. Frey gives lectures and interviews on strategies for progress to high-profile audiences at places like NASA, the New York Times, and various Fortune 500 companies. He told Business Insider that he sees a future where innovators will enhance and improve the current landscape of online education.

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey said in the interview.

Frey claims that, in order for students to learn through an advanced online course, we must construct an educational program that learns its students’ individual proclivities and preferred learning strategies.

“It learns what your interests are, your reference points” Frey said. “And it figures out how to teach you in a faster and faster way over time.”


Regardless of the effectiveness of online learning platforms, there is still an inherent societal distrust of robots, especially within sectors like education. In fact, in a recent survey by the European Commission, it was found that 30 to 34 percent of people thought that robots should be entirely banned from education. But Frey doesn’t go so far as to argue education bots will replace traditional schooling outright. Also, as technology progresses, it is possible that these fears and opinions will change.

If Frey is correct about the future of online education, it could propel many to levels of education they could not otherwise achieve. Students around the world have limited access to public education, quality one-on-one help from a teacher, and advancement beyond their assigned grade or classes. However,  many of these students are gaining access to computers and the internet. A vastly improved online education system could provide the opportunity and resources underprivileged students need to fulfill their educational aspirations.

So, while robot teachers might sound a little scary for some, they could allow for more affordable and accessible education around the world. No longer would students have to live in districts with certain levels of wealth just to receive decent education. No longer would students be constantly overwhelmed or, conversely, bored by lessons that advance too quickly or too slowly. Perhaps, instead of taking our children’s jobs, robots could prepare them for a career they would love.

This Robot Surgeon Is Outperforming Human Doctors

Imagine you needed a life-saving operation. Would you choose an experienced, human surgeon to perform the procedure or a robot? According to Dr. Peter Kim, vice president of the Sheikh Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, the machine might be the better choice.

Dr. Kim is specifically thinking of STAR (which stands for smart tissue autonomous robot), a robotic surgeon. The machine uses advanced 3D imaging to ‘see’ its subjects, along with sensing technology that lets it work with greater precision than humans are capable of.

As a result, it is able to operate with fewer complications and better outcomes than even the most experienced human doctor.

But, Dr. Kim says, the robot’s not likely to stand in for human doctors any time soon. “The goal is not to simply take away or replace surgeons, but really enhance surgeons’ capacity and capability,” he said.

Kim also foresees a future where technology like this can be a democratizing force, making complex medical procedures available to more and more people around the world.

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Kuri, A Helpful and Interactive Home Robot That Plays, Entertains, and Performs Useful Tasks

Kuri is a helpful home robot designed to interact with humans to play, entertain, and perform useful tasks like setting reminders. In one promotional video, a young girl with diabetes uses the robot to remind her to check her blood sugar.

The robot has a camera behind one eye that can take still images and video, microphones it can use to locate the source of a sound, and speakers for playing media or making cute robot noises. Kuri also uses on-board sensors to map its surroundings to avoid obstacles and pitfalls as it moves.

The makers of Kuri are now accepting preorders their website and expect to begin shipping by the holiday season 2017.

Kuri also promises not to try to destroy civilization or rise up and enslave humankind.

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Robots Are Coming For Your Job

Robots are coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop them besides convincing everybody to stop inventing robots. Which won’t happen. People love inventing robots.

Market researcher Forrester estimates that by 2021, six percent of jobs in this great future Trumpocracy of ours will be done by robots.

Which, to be honest, is fine, because people are getting old pretty fast all of the young people are too high and mighty to do the most rote jobs.

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