What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is a computer programme which answers questions as if it were a person. It has very limited artificial intelligence and tries to learn about you too.

This is a good one from mousebreaker games http://www.mousebreaker.com/games/chatbot – the chatbot is called Mitsuku and she is 18 years old. She does quite a good job of keeping up a conversation. be careful> If you are rude to her, she will be rude back!

This was the task I set for my students using this chatbot. After a lesson on formign questions (Upp1) they had to write questions to Mitsuku to find out this information

Mitsuku’s age _________________
The town where Mitsuku lives _________________
Favourite colour _________________
If she has a boyfriend _________________
Her religion _________________
Her favourite film and why she likes it _________________

2 other facts about her
_________________
_________________

PROS of this activity – Students get carried away and ask her lots of things, some kept playing after the end of the lesson. Mitsuku sometimes provides extra info, like pictures and links and pop-ups on the page which make it interesting

CONS you need flash installed (which one of the comps at Tirol didnt have). Sometimes it is slow to load or their system if overloaded so Mitsuku won`t work. Depending on your sensibilities – dont let students get carried away writing too many rude things!

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2 Responses to What is a Chatbot?

  1. guarany says:

    Cheers, Dave.
    I’ve just tried it out. I fired away, “Hey, what’s up?”
    Quick came her reply: “The sky, the ceiling, etc, etc.”
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!

  2. Square Bear says:

    Hi,

    I wrote the Mitsuku chatbot and you will find that http://www.mitsuku.com is a more reliable site for her. I also now offer a talking version of her on the same site.

    Glad she could help your students.

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