Summary of Will AI Replace Teachers?

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Automation is changing many jobs. Even AI-enhanced teaching is on the rise in China. Digital teachers don’t need time off, are never late for work, and – if programmed correctly – are immune to biases favoring or discriminating against students. Jing Ting and Si Qi, writers for Chinese tech media platform 36Kr, scrutinize current forms of AI-enhanced teaching and explain the popularity of AI-enhanced learning products. In this report, they circumspectly analyze why some investors hesitate to bet on AI teachers and conclude that human teachers aren’t on the chopping block – at least for now.

About the Authors

Jing Ting and Si Qi are writers for 36Kr, a Chinese tech media platform and start-up incubator. They report on start-up investment news and tech trends.



Since 2018, a wave of new Chinese start-ups offers AI-enhanced learning products. These start-ups use prerecorded lessons, animated instructors and automated feedback to replace human instructors in some areas or entirely. For example, a language-learning app may notice that a student’s pronunciation is off and will automatically instruct the student to try again. Another app can tell when the student’s gaze leaves the screen; the program will alert the student and draw attention back to the lesson. Established companies Bytedance – the company that created personalized news stream platform Toutiao and personalized short video platform TikTok...