By Yiannis Kourtoglou
(Reuters) – High school students and their tutors in Cyprus have developed a prototype robot powered with ChatGPT artificial intelligence technology to harness and improve teaching experiences in the classroom.
Named AInstein, the squat robot created by three Pascal Schools in Cyprus stands roughly the size of a small adult and looks like a sculpted version of the Michelin Man. It is powered with ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by U.S. firm OpenAI and backed by Microsoft Corp. A screen for a face tries to mimic human features with blinks and frowns.
Speaking in a North American accent, it can tell jokes (Why was the maths book sad? Because it had too many problems), attempt to speak Greek and advise on how Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity can be taught in class.
He does not have a favourite movie since it was “before his time”, he says. But he enjoys reading science books and spending leisure time with his violin.
Student Richard Erkhov, 16, lead programmer of the AI brain, said artificial intelligence was poised to improve exponentially. “It might help in a lot of spheres of life, such as education and medicine,” Erkhov told Reuters.
Another student, Vladimir Baranov, 15, said the technology was “incredible”.
“It mimics human thinking, answers like humans, responds like humans. It is not yet very polished .. But it is getting there,” he said.
Tutors say the ultimate purpose of AInstein is to incorporate it into teaching.
“It’s a very interactive experience. Students can ask him questions, he can answer back and he can even facilitate teachers to deliver a lesson more effectively,” said tutor and project leader Elpidoforos Anastasiou.
Anastasiou demonstrated how AI can be adapted to the classroom with AInstein showing how gravitational time dilation from Albert Einstein’s theory of time relativity can be explained by moving a pendulum relative to the gravitational field in which it is placed.
Their experience with AInstein showed that AI is not anything to fear, project members said.
The European Union is considering legislation governing artificial intelligence, though advances in the technology far outpaces lawmakers’ efforts.
AInstein himself answers whether the technology is something to be feared. “Humans are the ones who create and control AI, and it is up to us to ensure that its development and implementation serve the betterment of humanity.. Therefore we should not fear AI, but rather approach it with care and responsible consideration.”
(Writing By Michele Kambas; Editing by Josie Kao)