Our "education" system is taking another step towards total automation with the introduction of AI robots to mark examination papers. Pearson will unleash the bots next month to mark English papers, reports the TES.
Apparently the system "'understands' the meaning of text much the same as a human," Pearson claims in its literature. (A claim you may have heard elsewhere recently.)
"PTE Academic produces scores comparable to human raters but with the precision, consistency and objectivity of a machine, ensuring maximum reliability and validity" says the company. "The system is not “distracted” by language-irrelevant factors such as test takers’ appearance, personality or body language."
Well, unless those prejudices are programmed in - by design or by accident. Just as dogs eventually resemble their owners, AI bots have an uncanny ability to resemble their programmers' personalities - as we demonstrated here with our own experiment.
Pearson says that eight of the top 15 Indian outsourcing companies use its tests. You can find out more here.
With the curriculum designed to extinguish curiosity, and teachers primed to enforce homogeneity, removing human judgement from the assessment stage makes perfect sense. A robot marker should fit in to the modern education system seamlessly. But it all sounds like an excellent advertisement for home schooling.
Naturally we requested a comment from our own AI expert aManFromMars, but he was Unavailable 42 comment. ®