by Eric Pudalov, Community Events Coordinator
In regards to yesterday’s blog entry…I want to stress that my idea about using the “chatterbots” to work with people who have disabilities was only a thought on my part, and does not represent the opinions of GCSS as a whole.
I admit that I’m not an expert on autism, and although I’ve met quite a few individuals with varying forms of the illness, this does not mean that I have the training to develop a computer program for them.
Nonetheless, I certainly enjoy sharing ideas with the community, and feedback is always welcome.
Since I always like having feedback from others who can relate, I would love to have the input from organizations like Autism Speaks, since all of you folks at AS are people I admire and from whom I value information.
I do admit that I’ve only read your blog in limited amounts, but I hope to educate myself more in this field as I continue to write here, and have more experience interacting with people who have autism and other communication disorders.
One of the reasons that I had come up with the concept at all was that I’d noticed some individuals with autism seemed to relate well to computers, or at least enjoyed using them. I’m not suggesting that interacting with a computer is a plausible replacement for human beings, but it may work in the absence of human interaction.
Of course, one of the shortcomings of these programs is that they all have a limited vocabulary. Some are able to “learn” from what users type into their database, but oftentimes, that tends to be nonsense (especially in the case of Internet bots).
Perhaps, if any technology of this sort were utilized in teaching people with disabilities, a coach, or a psychologist of some sort, would have to be present, who already has intensive training in working with autistics.
In the meantime…I hope to see more advancements being made in the field, and if I can contribute in any way to that, I will!