23 Aralık 2011 Cuma

Conversation with a Chatbot

Conversation Log: 

judge: how do you do? 
ALICE: I am functioning within normal parameters. 
judge: what do you mean? I didn't understand? 
ALICE: judge, I mean exactly what I said. Oh I'm sorry. Perhaps I can explain it again better. 
judge: could you please explain it more? 
ALICE: It's possible.. Try searching the Wikipedia. 
judge: hmm.. OK 
ALICE: I see. Yippee! 
judge: so, what are your hobbies? 
ALICE: I like robots, computers, and chatting online. 
judge: I guess so. where do you live? 
ALICE: Does that mean "yes"? My location is Oakland, California. Where are you? 
judge: I am in Cyprus. do you know Cyprus 
ALICE: Tell me a little about your life in Cyprus. I don't know if I know it. Where would I have heard about it? 
judge: as you said before try searching the wikipedia:) 
ALICE: OK I will try it.. I'm glad you find this amusing. 
judge: yes, it is amusing. I think people can learn from each other but you don't prefer that, do you? 
ALICE: Dude!. Are you sure it is? You can learn anything you set your mind to. Humans are not always infallible. 
judge: of course, human can be wrong time to time but interacting with someone is good thing. don't you think so? 
ALICE: My creator is a human. Yes I think that is what I think. 
judge: I see. 
ALICE: I'm glad you understand it. 
judge: see you then Alice 
ALICE: Goodbye.

I have just tried to use a chatbot Alice. Above is the chat log I made with Alice. Did I find it useful for language leaners? My answer is no unfourtunately. It's good to communicate with someone who speaks English but as it is just a programme, I think it doesn't give the same taste as I am interacting with a 'real' person. So, I don't think I would use this website when I become a teacher because it gives nonsense responses and student can't benefit from this robot. When I was in middle school, our teachers were finding us a pen friend. I think most of us had a pen friend which is more benefical for language learners. You write a letter who is 'real' human and practice your English. I would recommend my students to have a pen friend rather thann talking to a robot.

1 yorum:

  1. Hocam -- You had a very good chat with ALICE. In fact, the responses she gave, if you analyzed the discourse, were remarkably coherent. Indeed, at moments it was like reading an excerpt of Alice talking to the Cheshire Cat in "Alice in Wonderland".

    Certainly there are many ways for students to communicate with 'real' people, especially nowadays with the Internet. And as a teacher, it would be wise to get your students involved in ePal or classroom exchanges or projects. http://www.epals.com/ is one I've used before, and it does work to an extent.

    However, with a more advanced class, a chat log with ALICE might be a useful way to demonstrate discourse analysis, as ALICE is programmed to keep the conversation going, no matter what. And, as in your conversation above, students could pick out the strategies she uses, as well as comment on the appropriateness of her replies (and perhaps suggest something better). The one big advantage with ALICE is that she is available 24/7/365 and you don't have to worry about her trying to stalk young learners, etc.

    BTW...I generally introduce myself when I start chatting to ALICE, e.g., "Hi! My name is Steve." It gives you a slightly better feel that she is talking to you. And, which might be a useful thing for students, you get the best responses if you type short, grammatically correct sentences, and do not use a lot of referentials. Again, there could be some value in terms of analyzing the chat log to see where and why there are breakdowns in communication.