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North Korea Is Using Robots To ‘Enhance Children’s Intelligence’

by : Emily Brown on :
North Korea Is Using Robots To 'Enhance Children's Intelligence'KRT

In an apparent step-up from virtual learning, North Korea is now using robots in order to teach the country’s children. 

Footage of a humanoid robot in action was presented on state television KRT after leader Kim Jong-un issued a push for education reform and technological innovation; the toy-like technology is aimed at helping children learn basic maths, music and English.

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Branded with a North Korean flag on its chest, one 80cm-tall robot was shown moving around a classroom at a university in Pyongyang, while a second, taller bot smiled from a screen embedded inside its round, white head, and a third was shown wearing a blue suit and white-rimmed glasses.

robot teacher in north korea (KRT)KRT

The first could be seen waving its arms around in the classroom as it announced that it helps ‘teach educational technology that enhances children’s intelligence,’ Sky News reports.

Students, seen wearing face masks in the footage, repeated phrases after the robots in a bid to learn English, with two children practising their skills at the front of the class, saying: ‘Hello? Hi. Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you, too. What’s your name?’

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robot teacher in north korea (KRT)KRT
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Other primary school children appeared to be using 3D design software while a robot appeared to oversee their learning.

The use of the robots in classrooms comes after a struggle to make the robots understand humans, with university professor Park Kum Hee telling KRT the robots initially shook their heads when asked questions in Korean and foreign languages.

Robot being used to teach in North Korea (KRT)KRT
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He commented: ‘Upgrading this robot’s intelligence was difficult for me as someone who majored in psychology. It was the words of our respected Comrade General Secretary [Kim Jong-un] on adopting artificial intelligence technology in education that has always guided me on the right track.’

The footage taken from the university comes after the country reopened its schools in June 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak, with children required to wear masks when in class.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Technology, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Education, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, robots

Credits

Sky News
  1. Sky News

    North Korea using robots to teach children English and 'enhance intelligence'