Georgia Tech’s AI Teaching Assistant Fools (Some) Humans

ARE YOU HUMAN? Imagine if your teaching assistant was actually a robot—and looked like Alicia Vikander. A picture of the “Ex Machina” lead actress graces a Wall Street Journal article that explores students’ surprise when they discovered one of their teaching assistants was, in fact, a bot. (It’s name, Jill Watson, might be a giveaway to the IBM Watson technology that powers it.) Her responses—which fooled even former IBM employees—were based on looking through nearly 40,000 questions and answers on a discussion forum.

Ashok Goel, the professor who teaches the online Georgia Tech computer science course, believes that bots like Jill can answer 40 percent of all students’ questions—many of the mundane variety—within a year. Best quote of the story goes to a student: “We’re taking an artificial intelligence class. There should be some artificial intelligence here.”

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