Pushing the Boundaries of Learning With AI

Sep 26, 2018

A growing number of academics are experimenting with new technologies powered by artificial intelligence, but many of the technologies aren't yet ready for prime time.

At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, students are immersing themselves in Chinese culture without setting foot outside their classroom.

The Mandarin Project, a collaboration between RPI, located in upstate New York, and the tech giant IBM, places students in a virtual world where they can practice their Mandarin language skills in a series of simulated scenarios, such as ordering lunch in a restaurant or taking a tai chi class.

The project aims to make students feel as if they are actually in China, without the inconvenience of traveling there, says Helen Zhou, assistant professor of communication and media at RPI, who has been actively involved in designing the project.

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