Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I've been learning from robots

William Lucas, a language teacher here at Otago Polytechnic has been experimenting with chatbots for language tuition. I popped around yesterday and spun me out with JabberWacky and sat back with a grin watching me talk to a robot.

Amazingly, William's class has already taught a robot what the capital of New Zealand is, it even asks back the same question in a variety of ways.

I'm impressed with William's adoption of the tool - normally thought of a spammer device - now as a language tuition device. Highly recommend watching the ABC video on it.

Related to this is what Peter Enderby points out in the Tourism Hospitality network. A 3D rendered animation that speaks the news aggregated from leading news sources, then pops out to other characters to read out blog posts like in the filed journalists! Again, well worth watching the video yo fully comprehend this. this technology could just as easily replace a teacher on many levels!!

News At Seven screenshot
News At Seven is a system that automatically generates a virtual news show. Totally autonomous, it collects, parses, edits and organizes news stories and then passes the formatted content to an artificial anchor for presentation. Using the resources present on the web, the system goes beyond the straight text of the news stories to also retrieve relevant images and blogs with commentary on the topics to be presented.

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1 comment:

roseg said...

Leigh this reminds me of the bad old days when Casio brought out the first affordable crappy plastic keyboards, spawned the "any fool can" approach to music (or more accurately, midi), put alot of musicians out of work, made accoustic instruments more expensive and didn't really add anything to the world. I'm still smarting from that "revolution" so it's difficult to get excited about this.

The other thing I wondered while watching those videos was how long it will be before these digital divas pass the Turing Test. But then I realised I was being uncharitable given that there are still people in the world (often in positions of great power) who wouldn't pass either.