Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

The first question I ask when I see a headline like this is, "According to whom?" In this case the answer is "research" and we are pointed to this paper (182 page PDF) that mentions 'chatbots' exactly once (on page 17). Now to be sure, this study, led by Nadia Naffi of Laval, is a teriffic study and recommended reading. But it does not discuss chatbots, and it's misleading to cite it as though it does. Better references are found later, to two review articles surveying recent literature on chatbots. These papers suggest "chatbots are still in the early stages of being implemented in the field of education," which accords with my own experience. As well, "it is clear from the review that some factors, such as ethical, evaluation, user attitude, supervision, and maintenance issues, may have an impact." Scott White's article isn't bad, but there's a disconnect between what it links to and what it says.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 02, 2023 06:52 a.m.

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