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Value of artificial intelligence in language learning

Background:  AI techniques for natural (human) language have been under development for approximately 20 years. Parsers for language understanding as 'front ends' to other programs have been developed; machine translation has reached a good, but not usually excellent, level of competence; and yet no 'breakthrough' usable for CALL has occurred. Part of the reason may lie in certain structural limits to computer processing of natural language; part may lie in limited financial reward for discovery of new and improved CALL programs (compared with military applications, for example).

Research question: To what extent can AI (Artificial Intelligence) describe and use natural language? As an extension of this, how can programs using AI techniques contribute to learning and teaching language?

Suggested methodology/comments: 

Contact:  Ruth H. Sanders   sanderrh@muohio.edu

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