A Japanese company has developed the world's first artificial intelligence "chat robots" to teach English.
SpeakGlobal's online 'robots' - which appear as male or female manga-style characters - look and make gestures that are identical to that of a human, speak aloud and can hold an interactive conversation with the student.
Developed primarily for the domestic market for people who want to learn to speak English, the technology can be adapted for any language around the world, the Independent reported.
SpeakGlobal's system, launched since late August, gives one-on-one spoken language instruction whenever the student requires for a fee that the company say is modest.
Access to one of the teacher robots starts at 15 dollars per month, instead of the more usual fee of 300 dollars a month for time with a human teacher at a private school.
Students are able to converse with their android teacher by speaking into a microphone that uses Dragon Naturally Speaking, recognized as one of the most advanced speech-recognition technology in the world.
"With a line-up of various artificial intelligence char robots, nearly any student learning English can find a suitable teacher to converse with at home, work on in school, 24/7," the Kobe-based company said.
"This is a turning point in the way English speaking is taught and practiced in Japan, Asia and around the world," it added.