College Students Thought Their Favorite Teaching Assistant Was Human

Ashok Goel, a computer science professor at Georgia Tech University introduced his online graduate-level Artificial Intelligence course students to their new teaching assistant, Jill Watson, without letting them in on a big secret. The professor listed Jill, along with the other TAs, on the course website, should students have questions during the course. Professor Goel said that students ask thousands of questions per semester and his staff of TAs often struggle to keep up and provide quality answers. A few discerning students found the name Jill Watson to be notable in an Artificial Intelligence course, but no one concluded that the teaching assistant was not human, but rather a chatbot powered by IBM’s Watson technology. One student unwittingly nominated Jill Watson as outstanding TA in the university’s teacher survey. The professor’s experiment with the chatbot was a success, providing students with speedy and meaningful answers that improved their educational experience.…

Link to Full Article: College Students Thought Their Favorite Teaching Assistant Was Human

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