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I'd Rather Not Learn: Korean Robot Teachers

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Seen here wondering why a Hermione Granger Weeble-Wobble just stole their souls, a group of South Korean students are exposed to an experimental robot aimed at teaching them English. Or -- OR -- is it aimed at their eyeballs with a laser blaster?

Engkey, a white, egg-shaped robot developed by the Korea Institute of Science of Technology (KIST), began taking classes Monday at 21 elementary schools in the southeastern city of Daegu.


The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines -- who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.

Cameras detect the Filipino teachers' facial expressions and instantly reflect them on the avatar's face, said Sagong Seong-Dae, a senior scientist at KIST.

"Well-educated, experienced Filipino teachers are far cheaper than their counterparts elsewhere, including South Korea," he told AFP.

So let me get this straight -- Filipino teachers are teaching English to South Korean students via robot. That...sounds complicated. Not unlike the assembly instructions for my new office chair, which is why I'm sitting on a stack of phonebooks. And they said they were obsolete!

S.Korea schools get robot English teachers [yahoonews]

Thanks to Jessica, asdf, Curtis and SaraDevil, who would rather remain uneducated than listen to a robot. I'm with you guys -- my ignorance is bliss!

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