April Fool's Day: FEE CTU to be the first in the Czech Republic to replace lecturers with artificial intelligence

For students For applicants

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering of CTU is always one step ahead. It is the first faculty in the Czech Republic to pilot the use of artificial intelligence in the educational process. Instead of lecturers, it will be avatars created by artificial intelligence who will give lectures. As a result, the lecturers will have more time to do research or supervise bachelor's and master's theses, while still being available to the students for seminars. From the new academic year 2024/2025, this technological solution will be extended to all courses.

The first lecturer to already outsource his lectures to AI is Associate Professor Petr Habala from the Department of Mathematics. And he was not chosen at random. His mathematics courses must be taken by students of almost all undergraduate degree programmes taught at FEE CTU. This way, the largest possible group of students will be able to get used to the new way of teaching.

However, in order not to deprive the students of the unmistakable teaching style of individual teachers, the avatars will be programmed including typical catchphrases and the way of speaking of our educators. During the spring pilot, students will of course have the opportunity to give feedback on each lecture by completing a short online questionnaire at the end of class.

Critical thinking

The faculty leadership encourages students to not take feedback lightly and help bring this new system to fruition. "We anticipate that technical issues and inaccuracies in the lecture content itself may arise during piloting. Therefore, there may be a situation that results in students learning the material incorrectly for the exam. In the upcoming examination period, students will be evaluated more leniently in these cases and we will try to fine-tune the avatars," described the FEE Vice-Dean for New Technologies, Prof. Elona Tesláková. "On the other hand, one of the missions of the university is to teach students to think critically, not just to blindly cram for the exam. Therefore, in the future, students will have to verify information more," she said.

The avatars balance their thinness with correctness

Another challenge for AI developers is a certain unnaturalness, even stiffness, that avatars can impress on their audience. "This came out in testing. We are working to ensure that the avatars are as likable as their human predecessors," explains Elona Tesláková.

But there are also undeniable advantages: the AI avatars will be professional and completely correct at all times. No inappropriate remark will ever come out of their mouths. This is a benefit for the learners, but also for the faculty, who will thus remove the space in which incorrect behaviour could occur as a preventive measure.

Below you can see what Associate Professor Habala's avatar can do.

Responsible person Ing. Mgr. Radovan Suk