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