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When Robots Teach: Towards a Code of Practice

Newton, P.; Newton, L.

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P. Newton

L. Newton



In the early days of electronic computers, the prolific writer and biochemist, Isaac Asimov (1920-1995), constructed a world in which humanoid robots were servants, doing the tasks people found menial, boring, or tedious. Asimov’s imagination was prescient. Today, Japan is pressing ahead with plans to make good a shortage of labour using robots to serve as, for example, carers for the young and old, for the sick, as sales assistants, cleaners, museum guides, and, of particular interest in this context, as teachers (Robertson, 2007). A quick look at Google Scholar shows that interest in using robots as teachers is now widespread and growing rapidly regardless of the state of a country’s labour market (Figure 1). Living and working with robots looks like it will soon be the norm for most of us. As teachers, they have been found to have a lot of potential, probably some of it as yet untapped. But, we must not forget that while a humanoid robot looks and behaves like a human, it does not currently think like one. The difference has the potential for unwanted effects. Before robots become commonplace, and without being Luddites, the time is right for forethought about using humanoid robots in classrooms. This article aims to prompt and inform that process.


Newton, P., & Newton, L. (2019). When Robots Teach: Towards a Code of Practice

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 9, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Publication Date Dec 31, 2019
Deposit Date Jul 10, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 11, 2019
Journal Research journal / Journal de recherches
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 80-86
Publisher URL


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