Japanese Elementary School Kids Now Being Taught by Saya the Robot

Illustration for article titled Japanese Elementary School Kids Now Being Taught by Saya the Robot

Elementary school teachers watch out. Japan's trying to make you obsolete! In lieu of a real flesh and blood person, one primary class in Tokyo is now getting a robot teacher named Saya.


Saya has 18 motors hidden behind her latex face which can help her express emotions that run the gamut from approval to anger. She can also speak different languages, carry out roll calls and set tasks for her robot-fearing pupils.

Apparently, Saya took 15 years for science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi to create. She is one of various robots being designed to take over human jobs in Japan in an effort to deliver a cheaper workforce as the Japanese population ages.

Call me a traditionalist, but something unnerves me about using a robot teacher on little kids. Sure, Saya might be less inclined to show favoritism or get snappy, but isn't there something about human emotion-something no facial motors could ever replicate-that students are supposed to learn from a young age? If Saya gets rolled out to other schools, what would be be unintentionally depriving these children of? [Telegraph]



Did anyone else think that the last paragraph in this article was a little weighty for Giz? I'm not saying it was a bad thing, just unexpectedly deep.

It made me think on a level deeper than "ooh...shiny".