Science & Tech

£32k per year private school appoints AI 'headteacher'

£32k per year private school appoints AI 'headteacher'
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Bang Showbiz - Tech / VideoElephant

A £32,000 per year private school has appointed a new 'principal headteacher' - but it's not exactly you're typical new hire as an AI bot is fulfilling the role.

Cottesmore School, a boarding prep school for four to 13-year-olds based in West Sussex, has teamed up with an AI developer to create Abigail Bailey who will be on hand to support human headmaster Tom Rogerson.

Abigail will be providing all sorts of school-related advice, from ways to support staff members to assisting in writing school policies and helping pupils with ADHD.

She's comparable to ChatGPT where people can type questions for the AI robot to answer thanks to an algorithm.

Rogerson explained how the AI principal will be able to analyse a huge amount of data as well as be knowledgeable in areas such as machine learning and education management.

“Sometimes having someone or something there to help you is a very calming influence," Rogerson told The Telegraph about the AI addition to the school, which was previously named ‘Prep School of the Year’ by Tatler.

“It’s nice to think that someone who is unbelievably well-trained is there to help you make decisions."

However, he insisted asking humans for advice will still occur.

“It doesn’t mean you don’t ever also seek counsel from humans. Of course you do. It’s just very calming and reassuring knowing that you don’t have to call anybody up, bother someone, you don’t have to wait around for an answer.

“Being a school leader, a headmaster, is a very lonely job. Of course we have head teacher’s groups...but just having somebody or something on tap that can help you in this lonely place is very reassuring.”

When it comes to the future, Rogerson is confident that it will not just be Cottesmore making use of this new technology and believes state schools will also adopt AI in some way.

“We are stepping into the future while preserving the core values of traditional education.

"The introduction of AI is not about replacing our dedicated educators but about augmenting their capabilities and ensuring our students receive the best education possible.”

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