I love this story. H/T KurzweilAI
When children experience difficulties in writing, they can easily lose confidence, begin to shut down, or even gradually lose interest in the learning process. Eventually, their entire education can be affected. When students put themselves in the place of a teacher and pass on what they know to their peers, they can regain their self-esteem and motivation.
The researchers’ idea was to make a robot play the role of the peer who needs to be taught. “Essentially, the goal is to provide a tool for teachers — a student who knows even less than the slowest student in the class,” explains Séverin Lemaignan, one of the authors of an open-access paper in Proceedings of the Tenth Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.
The robots can play the role of a naive learner, which neither adults nor peers (because of the social effects it would induce) can convincingly play, the authors note.
The way to demonstrate mastery on a subject is to teach it to someone else. I can just see a little kid watching their robot friend having trouble writing and stepping in to help out. This is another example of Smart Toys.