Jo Brighouse

Robots can’t do angry parents and nosebleeds

Some say that school receptionists could be replaced by artificial intelligence – but they overlook the fact that this essential, multi-tasking role most definitely requires the human touch

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I read a TES news story the other day about a report recommending that school receptionists be replaced by artificial intelligence (“The best thing about the teacher-bots of the future is that they won’t accept the ‘blame-poverty-or-a-broken-home’ defeatism”).

I really can’t see it catching on in primary schools. Quite apart from the glitches that seem to plague all technology that enters the building, I have yet to meet a computer that can simultaneously staunch a nosebleed, counsel a divorcing parent and take delivery of three forgotten violins and a lunchbox.

In short, manning the school ...

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