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Cottesmore School, a prominent private boarding school, has introduced a unique addition to its leadership team – an AI chatbot named Abigail Bailey. This digital creation will serve as a

"principal headteacher" and assist the human headmaster, Tom Rogerson, in his various duties.

The AI development at Cottesmore School is a pioneering step, leveraging technology to support the traditional educational structure. Mr. Rogerson envisions Ms. Bailey providing guidance on an array of matters, including supporting staff, assisting pupils with ADHD, and formulating school policies.

Abigail Bailey operates in a similar manner to ChatGPT, the online AI service. Users can pose questions, and the chatbot employs algorithms to provide responses. This AI principal has been specifically engineered to possess extensive knowledge in machine learning and educational management, enabling it to analyze large volumes of data.

According to Mr. Rogerson, having AI support can be a calming influence, offering immediate assistance without the need to reach out to humans for answers. He emphasized that AI is not intended to replace human consultation but serves as a supplementary resource for making decisions.

Cottesmore School is recognized for its mixed day and boarding program, catering to students aged four to 13, with tuition fees reaching up to £32,000 per year.

Mr. Rogerson is an advocate for embracing AI and technology. The school made headlines when it posted a job listing for a head of AI earlier in the year, aiming to incorporate technology into the curriculum and offer additional activities. Although the job description seemed challenging, another AI robot named Jamie Rainer assumed the role of "head of AI" to oversee AI strategy and planning.

The school has also provided individual AI robots to students to aid in understanding their unique learning styles. Mr. Rogerson strongly believes that students should learn to collaborate with AI, acknowledging its transformative potential. However, he reassured that robots will not replace human teachers but will complement their capabilities and enhance the educational experience while preserving traditional educational values. Photo by Geoff Cole, Wikimedia commons.