Techno-News Blog

September 14, 2018

Students Get Immersive AI Boost to Learn Mandarin

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:20 am

By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology

Imagine the process of going into a restaurant and ordering food. Simultaneously, you could be glancing through the menu while also listening to and speaking with the waiter or your companions. When you’re in a place where people are speaking a different language, the complexity of those activities increases multifold. A project taking place at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hopes to understand how the use of an immersive environment and artificial intelligence can help students practice foreign language skills and increase their confidence when speaking. The researchers are using simulated experiences to test out their ideas.┬áThe Cognitive Immersive Room, or “situation room,” allows students to feel as though they’re in restaurant in China, a garden or a Tai Chi class. While immersed in the environment, they practice speaking Mandarin with an AI chat agent powered by IBM Watson. The immersive classroom was developed by the Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab, a research collaboration between IBM Research and RPI. The space taps several technologies: speech-to-text, natural language understanding and computer vision.

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