Hour of Code 2019 - High School Edition: The Turing Test, Chatbots and Eliza
Can a Computer Talk Like a Human?
Would you know if you sent a message to your friend and a computer replied instead? What about if you sent a message to tech support for a computer problem, would you be able to tell if it was created by a human or a computer? Throughout history, human beings have imagined the ability to make things that aren’t human beings act in humanlike ways, and computers are not excluded from this imagining. Since at least the 1950s, humans have been trying to make computers that are capable of carrying on conversations with humans.
During this year’s Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code, you will have the opportunity to learn about computers talking like humans (chatbots), learn about the test that determines that if computers are successful at talking like a human (the Turning Test), and have the opportunity to create your own chatbot.
Step 1: Watch "The Turing Test" Video Below
Step # 2 (Optional) - Chat with a Chatbot and Learn More About Chatbots
Chatbots are almost everywhere today from UPS.com’s Virtual Assistant to business chatbots in Facebook’s Messenger App. Still, Cleverbot is one of the most famous chatbots in existence and has had millions of conversations over the years. Feel free to chat with Cleverbot (under your teacher, guardian or parent’s supervision) and explore the article about how Cleverbot works from LiveScience.com.
“How the Cleverbot Computer Chats Like a Human” By Natalie Wolchover
- “PLEASE NOTE – Cleverbot learns from people – things it says may seem inappropriate – use with discretion and at YOUR OWN RISK!
- PARENTAL ADVICE – whatever it says, visitors never talk to a human – the AI knows many topics – use ONLY WITH OVERSIGHT!”
You may start a conversation with Cleverbot by clicking on the image above or typing something into the box below and clicking on the “Say” button.
Step 3: Build Your Own Chatbot with Python and Grok Learning
Now that you know a little bit about chatbots, you have the opportunity to learn how to make your own using the Python programming language. Click on the link below to experience a step-by-step tutorial on creating a chatbot in Python. Ready Player One? Good. Good luck and enjoy.
Support and More Learning Opportunities
If you have questions about the information above, please feel free to reach out to Technology Coach Ben Brigham at email@example.com. I’m happy to support your exploration of technology, computer science and coding.
If you are interested in learning more about computer science and coding, there are numerous opportunities to learn for free on the web. You can find many of them by simply searching the web, but I highly recommend the following three resources.
- Free Online Courses and Activities from Code.org
- Free Online Coding Activities from Google Education CS First
Free App-Based Learning Activities from Apple’s Everyone Can Code https://www.apple.com/education/teaching-code/
Again, if you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to reach out any time.
Remember, “there are 84,000 doors to enlightenment”. You can open one or open many, but journey begins with the desire to discover what is behind one door.
Happy Computer Science Week and Happy Adventuring!