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Robot Teachers School Korean Students in English December 28, 2010

Posted by Metabiological in Science.
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When I first read this I was going to make some joke about no industry being safe from automation but as it turns out this is an example of no industry being safe from outsourcing.

Almost 30 robots have started teaching English to youngsters in a South Korean city, education officials said Tuesday, in a pilot project designed to nurture the nascent robot industry…

The 29 robots, about one metre (3.3 feet) high with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.

The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines — who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

Despite what some try to tell us economics in many ways is very simple.  Companies try to maximize profits while limiting costs.  In most cases the one cost they have control over is labor, hence the flight of jobs to lower income countries.  Many industries have been protected by the fact that they require a person to be actually present to fulfill there duties.  Is this the first sign that this may be coming to an end?  And what happens when the robots develop enough to no longer require a human controller?

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