We have a breakthrough!
Haven’t you always wanted to use natural language processing in your virtual patient cases? Now we have two ways of doing this. OK, full disclosure here: we are not talking Watson level full AI stuff! But there are many times with a virtual patient case design when you don’t want to prompt the user about possible answers to a question and cue them into the correct answer.
Now there have been virtual patients… or rather a virtual patient that did NLP to an amazing degree. The Maryland Project in 2007 had very impressive language processing – you could type almost any question you wanted into it and it would provide a sensible answer. But the cost and the programming effort were huge and not at all scalable.
We have had some basic text processing capabilities in OpenLabyrinth for a while now. Very useful in limited situations. But it is a pain considering all the variations that a user might type and allowing for these in the logic rules.
Now we have Turk Talk. Based on the concept of the Mechanical Turk, where a human pretends to be a computer, we have developed an interface where a human facilitator can handle text input from up to 8 learners in a small group session. Interface is done and stable – going into research testing now.
If you are interested in a collaborative project working at something like this, contact us.