University Enrolling AI-Powered "Students" Who Will Turn in Assignments, Participate in Class Discussions

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Even students aren’t safe from AI.

Model Student

Students at Ferris State University in Michigan will soon be sharing the classroom with AI-powered freshman “students” who will enroll in classes alongside them, MLive reports.

And no, they won’t have humanoid robot bodies — they’ll be interacting with students via computers, microphones, and speakers.

In an experiment led by associate professor Kasey Thompson, AI students dubbed Ann and Fry will be listening — or scanning through? — lectures, work on assignments, and even actively participate in discussions with other students, per the report.

As to why the experiment, which was announced during the university’s AI Day last month, is taking place? The institution wants to explore the “transformational impact of emerging artificial intelligence technology, connecting high school students with potential educational and career pathways in evolving and increasingly important fields,” per a statement.

Whatever the heck that means.

Career Day

Thompson is rolling the dice and letting the two AI students “decide” which undergrad degree to pursue.

“Like any student, our hope is that they continue their educational experience all the way up as far as they can go, through their PhD,” Thompson told MLive. “But we are literally learning as we go, and we’re allowing the two AI students to pick the courses that they’re going to take.”

“We’re in general courses at this point, but hopefully they will complete their undergraduate degree and even graduate degrees and even further than that,” she added.

Ann and Fry will listen in on lectures and discussions via microphones and computer systems. The goal is to eventually have them chime in and give feedback during active conversations, per Thompson.

“We actually came up with the idea to help us better understand, how do we serve the future students at Ferris State University?” she told MLive.

Researchers will soon be poring over the data to figure out what the AI students will have learned and what the school has learned from them as well.

But whether Ann and Fry’s accolades listed on their future CVs will be enough to get a job remains to be seen.

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