Nao is an android that can be programmed to interact with students and perform many of the tasks associated with teaching. Dr Zagami is working with Nao to explore to what degree Nao can teach - where Nao is not yet as effective as a human teacher, and where Nao is already more effective. The aim is to eventually better understand and improve the teaching process for both human teachers and automated processes. That Artificial Intelligence and robotics will play a role in education is not in doubt, it is already occurring. What we need to understand is how best to include human and AI systems to maximise the learning of students.
Currently Nao is only really capable of performing pre-programmed sequences of instructions, but as databases of examples are developed, the next step will be for Nao to learn autonomously from different approaches to teaching - identifying what works well and what does not. Over time, Nao will improve on its ability to interact successfully and teach students increasingly more complex concepts.
One day soon, you may find yourself teaching with a robot assistant, or a whole class of assistants - providing individual interaction and support for each student!