A $35,000-a-year boarding school named AI bot its ‘principal headteacher.’ The headmaster says its helping

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An artificial intelligence bot appointed as “principal headteacher” of a British boarding school has been a helpful tool for leadership, the headmaster told Fox News.

The AI bot, Abigail Bailey, was originally designed to appear as a human-looking avatar that would respond with a moving mouth and facial gestures. But after conversations with AI industry leaders about its human-like persona, the bot was renamed “ABI” and the avatar was removed.

Teachers at Cottesmore can use ABI to help create lesson plans (Roland Weihrauch/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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“The name of the bot, the first iteration of the bot, was Abigail Bailey, and the title was AI principal headteacher,” Cottesmore School Headmaster Tom Rogerson told Fox News. The AI was meant to “help with leadership and structure thoughts.”

It would also allow teachers to “spend more time with the students,” Rogerson said.

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ABI can give advice on how to best mentor students with learning needs like ADHD, give risk assessments on what could be hazardous to a student’s education and create lesson plans tailored for individual pupils. The school has also been developing additional AI platforms to help create educational material for students.

The Cottesmore School which appears like a gothic-styled school church

Cottesmore School was founded in 1894 and has around 200 students enrolled.  (Cottesmore School)

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“One of the most exciting things that’s happening — and we’re developing it with a developer — is the idea of a bespoke learning program for individuals,” Rogerson said. “So you learn about how each child learns … and you feed it into the AI and it will produce individual booklets or individual resources for the specific child sitting in front of you.”

“So there might be 20 children in the room and there would be 20 different booklets that will be produced, and they will all have the things that they’re interested in,” he continued. 

Some teachers in the U.S. have also found AI to be a helpful tool in creating classroom material and providing other instruction. A Harvard University professor, for example, is using AI to help teach students how to code.

As AI in education grows, the tech could eliminate teaching jobs in the future, Peter Schiff, chief economist at Euro Pacific Asset Management, previously told Fox News. Elementary school through high school soon “will be obsolete” because AI education is “better and faster than the current system,” he said.

Chatgpt screen

ABI the educational AI bot functions similar to ChatGPT, Rogerson told Fox News.  (Chatgpt)

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But Rogerson said the teachers at Cottesmore aren’t going anywhere. 

The school’s AI bots are “not there to take away from anybody or to replace anybody,” Rogerson said, adding that the bots “are there to augment the offering.”

To watch the full interview with Rogerson, click here

Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.

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