Monday, December 2, 2013

#edcmooc - A chat with Prof. Eliza

I was thinking about what to create for my digital artefact for EDCMOOC.  My initial thought was to create a sample dialogue between a fictionalized EDCMOOC student and Prof. Eliza.  Prof. Eliza would be, of course, based on the the venerable ELIZA computer therapist program. I could then go in and modify the specific psychotherapy lines with something specific to education.

In the faceless environment no one knows if you are a dog, so in online education how do we know if a professor isn't just a machine pretending to be human?  In any case, this was meant to be a parody. There were two directions I could go once I got the dialogue all set:

  • I was going to ask a friend to run some lines with me, and they would play the role of Professor Eliza. The computerized responses as said by a human would/should make people think about appropriateness of responses of professors to learners and how helpful they are.
  • Or, I could text chat with Professor Eliza and record that, and the EDCMOOCer reaction to the text (frustration would be part of the reaction).
Well, since time ran out, and my goals were too lofty, I decided to do a little mLearning and use a, new to me, application called animoto.  I used the dialogue from the ELIZA engine, and the "title" text (top) is eliza, and the subtitle (bottom) text is the response from EDCMOOCer.  In the end, can machines, or fake artificial intelligences feel lonely?  You tell me ;-)

Chat with Eliza
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