In a surprising move, Cottesmore School, located in West Sussex County, England, has appointed an artificial intelligence as its headmistress. This AI, named Abigail Bailey, is designed with capabilities similar to ChatGPT.
Abigail Bailey’s role significantly differs from that of a traditional headteacher. Instead of delivering speeches at assemblies or handling student issues in her office, her focus is on providing guidance for tasks such as supporting administrative staff, assisting students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and crafting school policies.
The decision of Cottesmore School to employ AI to oversee key aspects of its operations has sparked significant debate in England, particularly regarding AI regulation. The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has emphasized the need to ensure safe AI use and expressed a desire for the UK to lead both intellectually and geographically in global AI safety regulation.
School Director Tom Rogerson has pointed out that the intention is not to restrict access to this AI but to enable public school headteachers to leverage this publicly available technology, which includes features for creating plans and programming it to pose thought-provoking questions to school leaders.
Rogerson believes that students should learn to collaborate with both people and technologies like artificial intelligence and robots. To promote this idea, the school has organized fairs to showcase the benefits of AI in classrooms, allowing teachers to explore how they can incorporate it into their teaching.
Abigail Bailey’s appointment not only raises questions about the role of artificial intelligence in education but also about the limits of automation in the educational sphere. How far can AI go in shaping the education of our youth, and what is the role of human educators in this new landscape?
As the controversy escalates, Cottesmore School insists that the introduction of AI is not intended to replace dedicated educators but rather to enhance their capabilities and ensure that students receive the best possible education. The discussion about the future of education and the impact of AI in classrooms is sure to continue to fuel passionate debates in the UK and worldwide.