Inspirational teachers of the future will be intelligent machines rather than humans, the influential head of one of Britain’s most famous public schools predicts, reported The Independent.
Within 10 years a technological revolution will sweep aside old notions of education and change the world forever, Sir Anthony Sheldon, master of Wellington College believes.
School teachers will lose their traditional role and effectively become little more than classroom assistants.
They will remain on hand to set up equipment, help children when necessary and maintain discipline, Sir Anthony said.
However, the essential job of instilling knowledge into young minds will wholly be done by artificially intelligent (AI) computers.
Sir Anthony, a historian and political commentator who has written biographies of ex-prime ministers David Cameron, Tony Blair, John Major and Gordon Brown, said: “It certainly will change human life as we know it.
“It will open up the possibility of an Eton or Wellington education for all.
“Everyone can have the very best teacher and it’s completely personalized; the software you’re working with will be with you throughout your education journey.
“It can move at the speed of the learner.
“This is beyond anything that we’ve seen in the industrial revolution or since with any other new technology.
“These are adaptive machines that adapt to individuals. They will listen to the voices of the learners, read their faces and study them in the way gifted teachers study their students.
“We’re looking at screens which are listening to the voice of the student and reading the face of the student. Reading and comprehending.”
Sir Anthony outlined his vision in a talk at the British Science Festival which took place last week in Brighton.
It will also be the subject of his new book The Fourth Education Revolution, due to be published early next year.
The first revolution consisted of learning the basics of survival – foraging, hunting, growing crops and building shelters – he said.
The second involved the first organized sharing of knowledge and the third was marked by the invention of printing.