Digital Society
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Digital Society

Podcast transcript: Interacting with chatbots (week 5)

Welcome to the Digital Society Podcast, this week’s topic is chatbots. I’m Ros. I work in the Library’s eLearning team and I’m fascinated with all things technology.

This week we’re going to take a brief look at the world of chatbots. The types of chatbots that exist on the internet and the types of conversations we can have with them. Have you ever used a chat bot? Did you know you were using it or did it become apparent over time? That perky ‘bing’ coming from the bottom corner of a website can be annoying at times, but in the right context, chatbots can be a helpful addition to a website. Or they have the potential to be, at least.

There will also be an opportunity to think about balancing human-like speech patterns alongside the need for efficiency. Should a bot even try to sound like a human? What happens when a chatbot is programmed to give specific answers and interact in a way that a human might not? Use this week to think about how we talk with bots, and what their prevalence means for society. Maybe you haven’t thought about it much before, but does your tone change when you know the responses you’re getting aren’t from a human? What impact does automating conversations have on people? What does it mean to remove a fraction of human interaction, if that’s the only person you were going to talk to that day?

We’ll also look at some high profile chatbot failures, and what those failures say about humanity.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

Now you’ve heard a little bit about this topic, you’re ready to work through the topic post, which includes activities to help you join in the discussion.

Engaging with all this content, will help you prepare for your assessment. We look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say.

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