#9: AI IN TEFL

Another interesting tool that can be used in language teaching is chatbots that are artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. They simulate intelligent oral or written conversations with one or many people. Many of us have used the famous Siri  developed for iOS or have at least heard or seen others using it. You may have also come across Evi, which is mainly used on android systems. They are designed to facilitate their users’ work  finding places, websites, services all over the Web. They respond to oral and written commands and answer questions.  Now let’s look at George. He is pretty communicative and sometimes sarcastic. Alice gives simpler and more straightforward answers.

There are other intelligences each having their strengths and shortcomings, for instance Dave is said to be good at English teaching and it is paid. Reseach has looked at different features and potential of these AI. For example, Alice that was initially programmed with 45 000 conversational phrases, is belived to be more convenient for beginning students, while George, who aquires his language through communication with people amd who already has 8,000,000 conversational patterns, is more appropriate for  intermediate levels and upper  due to his sophisticated language.

I tried talking to Geogre and Alice. They may seem pretty cool at first sight. They are willing to talk and understood my questions with ease. But I tried to go beyond the simple chat and ask them more specific questions  such as what they know about vegitarians, if they recommend one to become vegitarian, etc. They seem to have nothing interesting to offer. So, if I choose to implement these guys in my English classes it will probably be just to have fun and relax. What is more, when talking to George I had the feeling he was just repeating all the phrases he had been said by humans. On the other hand Alice gave limited, short, but more reasonable responses. I think this difference is related to their different programming system.

Referring to Siri and Evi,  I think they can be used for more serious tasks such as finding information, finding a destination, etc. Though these two applications can best be used with at least intermediate levels.

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