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In a groundbreaking move, a school in the United Kingdom has appointed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) as its “Principal Headteacher”. This marks a significant milestone in the integration of AI into the education sector.

The AI Principal: Abigail Bailey
Cottesmore School, an elite prep school located in West Sussex, has appointed the AI, named Abigail Bailey, as its Principal Headteacher. The school, which caters to mixed boarding and day pupils aged 4 to 13, costs up to £32,000 a year for UK students.

An AI developer contributed to creating Abigail Bailey, developing her to provide a ‘wealth of knowledge in machine learning and education management.’ The AI reportedly functions similarly to ChatGPT, a large language model trained on extensive datasets that can offer human-like responses.

Role and Responsibilities
Abigail Bailey’s key role would be to assist the human headmaster, Tom Rogerson, with supporting staff members and other teachers as well as formulating ways to help students with special needs. The AI will also assist in writing school policies.

Speaking about the appointment, Rogerson said that having Abigail’s assistance wouldn’t mean that he stops seeking advice from human teachers at the school. “It’s nice to think that someone who is unbelievably well trained is there to help you make decisions,” he said.

A Step Towards AI Integration in Education
The appointment of Abigail Bailey is not the only AI-related position at Cottesmore School. The school has also filled another position, that of the school’s ‘head of AI.’ Another AI-powered chatbot Jamie Trainer has joined the ranks.

In May 2023, the school hosted an AI conference attended by educators from New York, Singapore, Scotland, and Nigeria. They discussed the impact of AI, especially generative AI, on education.

Insiders View
The appointment of an AI as a Principal Headteacher is indeed a revolutionary step. It signifies how technology is reshaping our education system. Despite concerns about job losses and inequality, AI, used responsibly and ethically, enhances education.

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