A1 and the guides on the side
A1 (aka Watson) and Jeopardy’s ‘Guides on the Side’


The question of the day: Will A1 ‘Watsons’ replace teachers?

With robots (otherwise known as A1: Artificial Intelligence) being able to teach special needs children, speak several languages, and now being able to understand context and relationships and derive meaning through reasoning with evidence, why are human teachers needed?  From Watson learns to understand Korean life and language:


Learning a language goes far beyond translation. Watson is trained to understand the cultural context of a word, sentence and nuances of unique idiomatic expression. With experienced gained from learning Japanese in partnership with Softbank last year, Watson is now learning languages at a faster rate. As Watson’s capability continues to grow, the system’s utility will also increase across industry domains.

For Watson, the process of learning a language is similar to learning about domains like medicine, engineering, law or marketing, for example. More than words, Watson needs to understand context and relationships and derive meaning through reasoning with evidence. Watson’s intelligence is very much determined by the quality of education or data received.  Like humans, the Watson system starts to learn by reading.

Watson will learn Korean by consuming roughly 10,000 sentences and deconstruct them in the form of diagrams that indicate syntax and semantic structure. This information will then be tested to fix errors and feed corrections back into the system so Watson can learn from its mistakes. And Watson never forgets, which is a skill that we humans do not posses.

Watson is also learning to master Japanese and is a data miner’s dream:

Luckily, Watson comes to this challenge armed with a tool that we humans do not possess, namely a solid state memory, which is a huge plus when it comes to the type of pattern recognition necessary when learning a language. “Watson is like having a research assistant who never forgets,” says Karasick. “Watson can find the signal in an enormous amount of noise.”

Watson’s learning method starts with the consumption of copious amounts of data. In cancer research, that means reading stacks of scientific papers. With cooking, it’s digesting recipes. Whereas learning languages begins with absorbing the meaning of words and phrases and the rules of sentence construction. Roukos and his team feed Watson annotated sentences in a parsing exercise known as syntactic sentence diagramming. “Quantity matters,” says Roukos. “Quantity leads to quality.”


Watson is in kindergarten and can also mine personality insights from Arabic and Japanese:

arabic and japanese

personality 1

personality 2


It’s only a matter of time when these personality insights are inserted into your student’s common data set file.  What’s not to love?  Maybe if your student doesn’t have the politically correct data determined by the authorities, you might have a smidgen of concern.

The education reformers and private companies investing in/manufacturing/programming these robots are actually ahead of their global educational vision and goals.  Refer to the previous post on MEW about Global Education Futures plan which includes the Automation of Mundane Intellectual Processes, Development of Cognitive Ability Improvement Industry, and the Cognitive Revolution.  Access the map yourself, enlarge 80% and scroll over to the above goals to find what is planned for 2020 and 2021:


global education map


Note that under the Mundane Intellectual Processes, the student does not know whether his or her teacher is a human being or A1.

Teaching may be a disappearing profession.  Teachers will be relegated to a ‘guide on the side’ instead of a teacher teaching.  After all, humans can only handle mundane intellectual processes and having a ‘guide on the side’ in the classroom will only be necessary to be sure the A1 is functioning properly.   And if you dare to call this ‘inhumane!’, according to the global masters, you are part of conservatively-minded people (who) oppose the development of cognitive technologies.


If Watson can replace teachers, then why not replace a human as President of the United States?  Think of all the campaign nonsense we could avoid when Watson becomes the President of the United States:


president watson 2

president watson






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