The Instigator
TheVanadium
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
bigwigaustin
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Robots can replace high school teachers

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 313 times Debate No: 105647
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

TheVanadium

Pro

Claim: I believe that technology can, eventually, replace high school teachers.

The rounds will be organized like this:

1) Acceptance and opening arguments
2) Premises or explanations to support said arguments
3) Counter-arguments for opponent's explanations and premises
4) Counters to the counter-arguments and clarification of one's own arguments
5) Completion of the counter-arguments and summarization of own argument

I wish my opponent good luck.
bigwigaustin

Con

First off, I would like to thank the Pro for creating this debate.

It is my contention that technology cannot and should not replace high school teachers, and the detriments caused by this act would outweigh the benefits by far.

I hope to hear from the Con soon.
Debate Round No. 1
TheVanadium

Pro

In this round, should anyone need a reminder, the contender and I shall list evidence to support our answer.

1) Robots will be preferable to high school teachers for principals. Robots do not complain, do not need lunch breaks, or need a high pay in the long run. Robots do not take sick days, either.

2) Robots will be capable of anything a high school teacher is capable of.
Robots can report suspicious activity, answer questions, and direct students to proper locations in the classroom

I have only made two claims, but these are claims with very much weight.
I look forward to the contender’s response.
bigwigaustin

Con

Here are my claims along with some supporting evidence for them:

1 ~ Robots cannot provide the assistance that a teacher can. Teachers are able to explain things clearly to students, provide multiple methods of teaching, and inspire students, whereas robots cannot provide these same things or things even similar to them.

2 ~ Robots are extremely expensive to upkeep. Not only do they cost an extremely large amount of money(on average, the minimum cost to build a robot is around $100,000, and that amount can grow greatly depending on the parts needed), but they also cost around $20,000 to $50,000 to upkeep annually. By contrast, the average teacher is paid around $45,000.

3 ~ Teachers are able to do much more than a robot ever could. Teachers are able to provide emotional support, guidance and counseling, maintain a classroom, and do much more. Teachers are also able to keep order in a classroom with their presence, but robot teachers would have no emotional nor physical power to maintain an orderly and proper classroom.

With this I submit my 3 initial arguments, along with some evidence to support them. I hope to hear from the Pro soon.

Sources:
https://www.recode.net...
https://www.payscale.com...
https://www.linkedin.com...
https://www.robots.com...
Debate Round No. 2
TheVanadium

Pro

This is a very large topic to cover, but I am up for it. Because this is so large a topic and I have a small deadline, I shall only briefly cover each explanation.

1a) Technology can explain things to students as well as people can, even with multiple methods of teaching. Applications such as Photomath can give students answers with explanations (Photomath). If students want a formula, the robot can direct it to a page in the book, or have human-created answers to specific questions if the questions are common.

1b) Technology cannot inspire students, but that is not why teachers exist. Teachers exist for teaching. It is mostly the principal’s job to provide inspiration in a school if anyone is supposed to do so at all.

2) The cost of technology is rapidly decreasing. The iPhone 1, when it came out, cost about $600, but it decreased to $400 (Imore). This is because materials are becoming slightly cheaper and they are easier to replicate. The iPhone logic can apply to all technology.

3) This argument ties in with argument #1.

Sources:

Photomath - https://photomath.net...
Imore - https://www.imore.com...
bigwigaustin

Con

The Pro stated in response to a previous comment of mine that "Technology can explain things to students as well as people can, even with multiple methods of teaching." He then went on to explain this statement by listing one application that provides answers and the steps to get them for math equations. While technology possibly could provide students with a mediocre(at best) explanation and/or math lesson, technology couldn't do many other things necessary in schools, such as grade a student's essay or teach P.E. and grade their performance.

The Pro also said that "Technology cannot inspire students, but that is not why teachers exist." The Pro went on to say that "Teachers exist for teaching", clearly meaning that the sole purpose of a teacher is to teach others. This is absolutely false. The role of a teacher has many facets. Not only are they meant to teach students, but they are also there to be a mentor to the students, provide counseling, be a role model, along with many other things that they are meant to do that robots clearly cannot provide.

The Pro went on to state "The cost of technology is rapidly decreasing", in response to my argument that robots cost an extremely large amount of money. In this same paragraph the Pro admitted that "materials are becoming slightly cheaper", slightly being the keyword here. A slight change in the costs of technology, especially the kind needed to produce a robot teacher, will have almost no effect on the total price. In order to develop a robot that would be even remotely capable of teaching students what they need to learn, many completely new parts would need to be developed, customized, and produced. It is also important to note that industrial robots cost around $100,000 to $150,000, and they usually have only one very simple purpose. To even attempt to create a robot that could teach students would cost much higher, as the skills needed to correctly perform the job of teaching the next generation are much more complex than those needed for a simple assembly line job.

Sources:
https://www.thoughtco.com...
https://www.robots.com...
http://www.ascd.org...
Debate Round No. 3
TheVanadium

Pro

The Contender suggests that robots cannot perform “advanced” tasks that humans can perform, such as grading an essay. However, humans grade essays based on certain criteria, such as if the evidence supports an argument. Meet Watson, a computer developed by IBM that can beat humans in Jeopardy. This means that computers can read and understand human speech, therefore, robots similar to it can understand if two sentences or ideas are related. Technology has also advanced in a way that they can read documents. Let’s take a look at Grammarly. Grammarly can read online text, eliminating the problem of reading. Grammarly can even correct grammar and check for plagiarism (Grammarly).

The Contender implies technology cannot measure student’s performance but did not provide an instance as to when robots cannot measure student's performance. Robots can measure the 90-degree angle required for push-ups. Robots can count student’s mile time. So what aspect of physical education can’t robots do?

The Contender proposes that robots cost about 125K USD, which is much too expensive. This is far from the truth. Baxter, a robot that can perform any task done in front of it. This sounds like super advanced technology to some. How much does this cost? 22K USD (HowStuffWorks). This is less than a fifth of what the contender suggests. The 22K USD will only become cheaper from there, as I mentioned in the previous argument. Materials have not only become cheaper, but knowledge has become more easily accessed, so simpler technology will be pushed aside if set at a high price. This means that technology providers will have to make their objects cheaper for them to be bought.


Sources:
Grammarly
- grammarly.com
HowStuffWorks - https://science.howstuffworks.com...

bigwigaustin

Con

The Pro stated that programs such as Grammarly and IBM's Watson would be able to grade tests properly. However, the Pro does not take into account the fact that programs such as Grammarly and Watson are not 100% reliable. Grammarly does not claim to be able to grade essays. In fact, Grammarly is professed and advertised to be "an English language writing-enhancement platform". Grammarly's purpose is not to grade essays, but to correct mistakes and enhance the writing process. Watson, on the other hand, may be able to tell similarities between two related sentences and understand speech, but its algorithms, once again, are not 100% accurate. A human teacher, on the other hand, would be able to understand all of this and the hidden, emotional meanings behind the essay.

The Pro is implying that robots would be able to grade classes similar to P.E. properly. However, no robot has ever been created that could do anything similar to this. While robots may be able to do simple things like measure angles and use a stopwatch, they absolutely cannot grade all the multiple facets that are present in a P.E. class. Not only do pushups and running, as the Pro mentioned, exist in P.E. class, but games and sports are also present in P.E. class. Robots simply do not have the intelligence levels needed to grade things such as these.

Baxter the Robot is unable to do any intelligent things such as grade math homework, essays, or physical ability. Baxter can only perform physical tasks and was meant to replace factory workers. The cost of Baxter is about $25,000(not including upkeep, which is estimated at $20K per year), which is extremely close to the annual salary of a US Production Worker, which is about $28,000. As I said before, robots that can teach and are intelligent cost around $125,000.

Also, the Pro did not counter my statements regarding the fact that the job of a teacher is not only to teach, as the Pro had stated, but also to be a mentor to the students, provide counseling, be a role model, along with many other things that they are meant to do that robots clearly cannot provide. This is a key part of my argument, as robots simply cannot perform these tasks or have these relationships with students that can only be created from person-to-person experiences. I would like for the Pro to address this in the final round, as he avoided it in the past round and this is an issue that absolutely needs to be addressed in the topic of robots replacing teachers.

Sources:
https://www.grammarly.com...
http://www.rethinkrobotics.com...
https://www.glassdoor.com...
https://www.robots.com...
https://www.thoughtco.com...
Debate Round No. 4
TheVanadium

Pro

This is the final counterargument and summarization round.

Teachers are not meant to inspire students. That is for other occupations, such as therapists and politicians. I did not avoid this in the last round; I only thought the contender had given it up, for he has failed to counter the fact that other occupations can do jobs just as well as teachers.
The Contender suggests that teachers are to "mentor to the students, provide counseling, be a role model." Teacher and mentors are synonymous, so there is no need to cover that. Counseling is for therapists. Being a role model is too broad a topic. Students may want to be anything when they grow up. Athletes would be role models for athletic kids. Politicians can be role models for students in politics and leadership. However, teachers of today can only inspire future teachers, of which there would likely be none.

Upkeep for Baxter is 20K USD a year, but this is less than what teachers are paid. Teachers are paid about 30K USD a year (Niche). This is more expensive than Baxter, so in the long run, Baxter is cheaper.

Robots can detect whether a ball is in the strike zone and know if someone is stepping out of bounds. Therefore, robots will be able to learn and analyze other rules.

Just because someone didn’t make a robot that can measure angles doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. A robot that can measure angles simply isn’t useful as of now. However, when people start using teacher robots, that function can be easily implemented.

Robots that can grade homework have already been implemented. Scantron devices are being used for multiple choice quizzes, and applications such as Professor Kageyama’s Maths Training proves that technology can read numbers. Similar technology can be used to read letters, and that leads to words. I have already given examples of robots that can read and correct grammar.

Robots may not be 100% accurate, but they make fewer mistakes than humans, which is what counts. This point is pretty straightforward.

Robots can compare the physical ability to the average physical abilities, which can be measured through tests. Students with certain disabilities can be measured against other students with certain abilities.

You have dropped the piece of my argument that principals would prefer robots as teachers because they won’t complain.

Note: Do not include these arguments in your next round, except the last one. Do not introduce any new explanations. That gives me a disadvantage, for I cannot predict and counter your future arguments.

Dear readers, the contender has failed to convince me that robots cannot replace high school teachers. I expect that he has failed to convince you too. Robots have been proven to be preferable to principals. There is nothing a robot can do that a teacher cannot. Therefore, robots will, in the (probably far) future, replace high school teachers.


Sources:
Niche - https://articles.niche.com...

For those who want to read further on my side of this topic:
http://www.cgpgrey.com...
bigwigaustin

Con

The Pro stated that my previous arguments regarding the fact that teachers are here not only to teach, but to "mentor to the students, provide counseling, and be a role model" do not apply. He said only therapists should be counselors, and a person can only become a role model regarding the position they are in. These statements are full of fallacies. People can be a role models not only for their positions but also for morals, values, and qualities as well. Also, counseling is not restricted only to therapists. While that is a therapists' main job, it is also the job of a teacher to help, guide, and counsel students as well(check my sources for more information regarding this topic).

Robots can detect and possibly even score organized games, but, as is the case in quite a few P.E. games, the games are not organized nor are known to the general public.

Robots can glitch, and even a simple robot glitch could wreak havoc on the grading system or devices of the machine. Humans, on the other hand, can make mistakes, but can't have "glitches" that cause a myriad of things to go wrong.

I will gladly refute your argument that principals prefer robots as teachers because they won't complain. No test has ever been conducted regarding this and, thus, there is absolutely no way to know whether your statement is true or false. Also, while robots may not complain, many things can go wrong with them(they can glitch, fall apart, go insane because of a simple coding error, etc.).

I am fully aware that the Pro asked me not to refute any of his counterarguments, but he made two false statements regarding things that I previously said, which I need to clear up.

I did not say that just because someone hasn't made a robot that can measure angles doesn't mean it isn't possible. In fact, I stated in Round 4, and I quote, " robots may be able to do simple things like measure angles and use a stopwatch." I was stating that no robot has ever been created nor could be that could sufficiently "grade" students on performance in most P.E. games.

The Con also stated that robots can grade homework that has already been implemented. I never disagreed with this. Sure, Baxter can grade previously implemented homework, but that is most definitely not always the case in schools. In fact, a lot of the time teachers will come up with completely new questions in order to challenge the students, something that Baxter is incapable of doing.

The Pro's contentions have been based off of many assumptions and non-existent "truths" throughout the entirety of this debate. Case in point: his argument that principals prefer robots over teachers with absolutely no evidence. Teachers are more capable than robots at performing many tasks. While some people, like the Pro, cannot comprehend this, these facts remain facts. Robots won't take over the place of our teachers. We need trustworthy, qualified people to be able to accurately teach the next generation, not robots.

I would like to thank the Pro for participating in this debate with me and, with this, I submit my closing statements and final counterarguments.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.ascd.org...
https://www.thoughtco.com...
https://www.recode.net...
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by TheVanadium 1 month ago
TheVanadium
For a response to Soulman4764, teachers are not hired to provide emotional support for the students. That is a therapist's job. If you would like to hold a separate debate on this topic, notify me.
Posted by Soulman4764 1 month ago
Soulman4764
I would still side with the contender on this, as robots clearly are unable to give emotional support to the children (pupils) in the class, as Artificial Intelligence can only do what has been dictated or programmed with and can offer no support at all like a human teacher can. Technology/ Artificial Intelligence, therefore, is not capable of doing anything. Watch the film Short Circuit and listen to what the Guy says who plays Newton Crosby PhD. This will tell the truth about Robots. "The Don't get mad, nor get sad, they just run programs" or something to that effect.
Posted by Soulman4764 1 month ago
Soulman4764
I would have to side with the contender on this one, Technology may take over from us, but the down side is that Artificial Intelligence as described in Terminator & I Robot Films show, Technology could turn against us, and no one can count that possibility out. Hence why I would say NO.
Posted by MindMaster 1 month ago
MindMaster
Just checking if html applies to comments
Posted by MindMaster 1 month ago
MindMaster
<b>I dont think so</b>
Posted by TheVanadium 1 month ago
TheVanadium
Before one wants to mention this, I do not hold a grudge against high school teachers. I simply believe that they can be replaced with machines, which are more efficient.
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