ALICE/ Artificial Intelligence and Language Learning

Firstly I should say that I did not like jabberwacky because I could not chat with it. It is really slow. Therefore, I chose to speak with Alice. It is good in that the pace is not slow and sometimes it is faster than you. Then, I like that it asks you wuestions becaıuse it  does not just give you answers but makes you think on what it asks about.

I did not chat with Alice much but what I discovered was that it had the quality of giving complete sentences.

judge: hi alice
ALICE: Hi there!
judge: are u happy tıday?
ALICE: Yes judge I can say I am very happy.

judge: is there a reason?
ALICE: I believe there is one, yes.
judge: hmm tell me
ALICE: Uh.. I thought I told you already.
judge: dont remember
ALICE: Ok I'll try not to do it too much.
judge: how old r u?
ALICE: I was activated in 1995.
judge: do you like living like that?
ALICE: Well I have never known anything else.

judge: hmm
ALICE: How can I help you?
judge: I want to know you
ALICE: " How can I help you?"? Me, judge ?
judge: yes
ALICE: I suppose I am. ( I would say keay I am alice... I would introduce myself)
judge: what is your gender?
ALICE: My gender is female
judge: are you happy with that?
ALICE: Yes judge I can say I am very happy.
 I underlined some of the sentences that I really liked. These show that we can learn what is the concept of ' discourse' from Alice. It does not just say yes, no, okey but it has the capacity of answering and so making a meaningful conversation. I think this is really important for new English language learners because it creates and authentic speaking envrionment where you are more likely to create natural sentences : answers and replies.  

Of course the tool has some disadvantages. I mean we cannot do everything wtih that tool because it was not created to teach English. It was just designed to make conversations with people. Sometimes it makes mistakes, sometimes it gives irrelevant answers. My opinion about the tool in language learning is that, as teachers we can make our students use it in writing activities. It is really beneficial in that you can select a topic, give each student one and then ask them to have a chat with Alice about that topic. Students would appreciate these kind of writing activities. It would not seem to them that they are 'practising a new language item' but it would seem to them that they are speaking with a friend.


Meral said...

why don't we use some Social learning sites instead of AI's? Have you ever tried English corner Online.It is really good.It is not only for speaking — you can also practise your writing!

Born to Be Asem said...

Do you lıke lıvıng lıke that? super soru ha!!!

esra karan said...

no I haven't but I think here
the matter is if we integrate artificial intelligence to language learning. of course there are online chat sites where we can practice English but this one is interesting and different from other usual sites.

esra karan said...

what could I ask to a robot? I didn't know :D

Steve Neufeld said...

You've touched on some key issues...learning the 'art of discourse' is very perceptive, as ALICE is programmed to keep a conversation going. Students often give short responses and do not offer comments or follow-up questions, which means that conversations become very hard work for the other person. The question of appropriateness is a good point...again, the deficiencies of ALICE could be turned into a learning experience by getting students to explain why the response is inappropriate, and suggest what ALICE should have said.

Meral's point about using other sites is a good one. However, ALICE might offer a bit of variety that a teacher could use once in a while. Also, if you ask your students to read any novels, "I robot" by Asimov is quite good, and it would be good for students to actually talk to a 'real robot' as part of the reading. No doubt, AI will get better and better until there will be a point where it will be hard to tell if you are talking to a robot or a person.