Home > The Treasure Hunt Club > No. 40 Bots. Getting better all the time

No. 40 Bots. Getting better all the time (2008年11月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
The first time I heard the term "bot", it was used to describe the
non-playable characters in video games. Recently, however, there is
a new type of bot that is becoming more and more common -- the
chatterbot. A chatterbot is an artificial intelligence-driven character
you can "talk" to or chat with using your computer. There are now a
surprising number of these you can introduce to your learners, many
of which are free. They are safe and harmless and fun to push to the
linguistic limits. Most of the chatterbots require Flash plug-ins. Many
chatterbots only allow text-based chat but the ones below are all
speaking chatterbots with voices that are fairly natural.

First, is a language teacher named Nick. He'll talk to you after you
choose from a list of topics.

There's also Lauren. She speaks with a British accent and there are no
set topics. But her answers may confuse students sometimes.

If you would like to pay for the services of a chatterbot to embed in
your own blog or school site, you can hire the services of Dave for a
single payment. http://www.alicebot.org/dave.html

For learners who would like to create their own talking avatar to place
on their blogs, there's Voki. In a few minutes you can create an
avatar, type in what you would like it to say, and then choose the
accent you want. It's not interactive, but it's a lot of fun.

That's it for this month. See you next time.