Professor Art Graesser: Seminar 23 November 2017

Personal Assistants for Life Long Learning:

Learning with Conversational Agents that Launch Multiple Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Learning Resources

Professor Art Graesser
Psychology and the Institute for Intelligent Systems, University of Memphis


Intelligent adaptive learning environments are destined to become more prominent with advances in artificial intelligence, big data, and learning analytics. These sophisticated environments are needed for individuals to become proficient in self-regulated learning, communication, collaborative problem solving, systems thinking, reasoning, career planning, and other skills of the 21st century. This presentation focuses on conversation-based computer agents that incorporate advances in artificial intelligence, intelligent tutoring systems, computational linguistics, and discourse processes. Two recent projects are highlighted: ElectronixTutor and Personal Assistant for Life Long Learning (PAL3). ElectronixTutor is designed to help Navy sailors learn about electronic circuits; it integrates a collection of intelligent tutoring systems and learning resources on circuits in one integrated system. PAL3 is designed to guide Navy avionics technicians in lifelong learning throughout their careers in the Navy. PAL3 recommends learning resources on subject matters that range from electronics to leadership. Both of these projects weave in a broad spectrum of learning resources that have been developed in previous years by other researchers.

Speaker Bio

Art Graesser is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, as well as an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Oxford. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at San Diego. His research interests question asking and answering, tutoring, text comprehension, inference generation, conversation, reading, problem solving, memory, emotions, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and human-computer interaction. He served as editor of the journal Discourse Processes (1996–2005) and Journal of Educational Psychology (2009-2014), as well as presidents of 4 societies, including Society for Text and Discourse (2007-2010), the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education (2007-2009), and the Federation of Associations in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2012-13). He and his colleagues have developed and tested software in learning, language, and discourse technologies, including those that hold a conversation in natural language and interact with multimedia (such as AutoTutor) and those that analyze text on multiple levels of language and discourse (Coh-Metrix and Question Understanding Aid — QUAID). He has served on OECD expert panels on problem solving, namely PIAAC 2011 Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments, PISA 2012 Complex Problem Solving, PISA 2015 Collaborative Problem Solving (chair), and PIAAC Complex Problem Solving 2021.

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