Share: Computer Science Students Discover Semester’s Teaching Assistant Was Computer AI

By | May 6, 2016

“Jill Watson,” one of the nine teaching assistants helping answer online questions from Georgia Tech computer science students, turned out to be IBM’s Watson AI.

One day in January, Eric Wilson dashed off a message to the teaching assistants for an online course at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I really feel like I missed the mark in giving the correct amount of feedback,” he wrote, pleading to revise an assignment.

Thirteen minutes later, the TA responded. “Unfortunately, there is not a way to edit submitted feedback,” wrote Jill Watson, one of nine assistants for the 300-plus students.

Last week, Mr. Wilson found out he had been seeking guidance from a computer.

[Georgia Tech computer science professor Ashok Goel] estimates that within a year, Ms. Watson will be able to answer 40% of all the students’ questions, freeing the humans to tackle more complex technical or philosophical inquiries such as, “How do you define intelligence?”

Mr. Wilson, who sought homework help in January, never doubted Ms. Watson’s humanity.

“I didn’t see personality in any of the posts,” he recalls. “But it’s what you’d expect from a TA, somewhat serious and all about giving you the answer.”

Full version:

More About Chatbots

Create a free chatbot

Chatbot custom design shop