It is named Pepper, the known humanoid robot produced by the Japanese SoftBank, which at the request of Robert Halfon, President of the British Commission investigating the potential of fourth Industrial Revolution, was called on September 16th, 2018 to talk about artificial intelligence at school, during a meeting of the Educational commission, in order to show the potential of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Theme of the commission’s examination: Artificial Teachers. Who better than an android could have answered the questions for the parliamentarians?

The Robot, owned by the University of Middlsex, is used to speaking in public. He is indeed employed to work with University students and to attend events.

In this event the questions and answers were already programmed. «The robot will have an important role – Pepper said – but we will always need soft skills that are exclusive to humans to perceive, built and extract value from technology».

Pepper’s presence was intended to better understand the technological progress. But there have also been testimonies of human persons who, in front of the commission, have highlighted the urgent need to drastically change the educational system to keep abreast of the speed of technological change taking place.

It was not a matter of a recreational or entertaining initiative, but an attempt to really understand how in the next 20-30 years, men will be able to face the interaction with the machines and if these interactions will be really profitable, or the research and technology behind it will have to be refined.

According to many, at present, artificial intelligence is not advanced enough to formulate
original thoughts or improvise beyond what the robot is programmed to say or do. «Modern robots are not intelligent and therefore can not testify in any significant way», said researcher Roman Yampolskiy.

The issue is that public and private entities, which work to advance, implement and regulate artificial intelligence and robotics, have a responsibility to educate and communicate properly to the public, what these technologies may or may not do.

 


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