Lesson 1 – Chatbots

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of Siri on the iPhone
  • Describe an experience of Artificial Intelligence from using chatbots


Words to learn: voice recognition, chatbot, artificial, intelligent, summarise

Starter – Voice Recognition

Over the next few lessons you are going to attempt to create a computer program that can think and reply to questions much like ‘Siri’ on the iPhone/iPad.  Do you know what Siri is?  What does it do?  Does it work well – if not what are the problems with it?

Watch these videos to find out more about what Siri does (teachers only):

Demonstration of Siri (11 minutes)
Siri trying to cope with Scottish accents (2 minutes)
And for a laugh, here’s Siri speaking to Siri (1 minute)

Share your current impressions of Siri technology.  Does it make you more likely to buy an iPhone or an iPad?

As a class discuss the advantages and disadvantages of technology like Siri and how it may advance 10 years from now.

Main – Using Chatbots

To see what a Chatbot does, try having conversations with the following for a few minutes each:

Elbot The Robot
Brain Bot (click the Chat button)

As a class, discuss the following points:

  • What sorts of questions are the chatbots very good at?
  • What questions do chatbots not answer very well?
  • What process/stages are taking place after the user types in a comment?
  • What tricks does the chatbot use to make it seem real, e.g. artificially intelligent?


Write a couple of paragraphs with your thoughts about speech recognition technology.  What works well, what doesn’t work so well, how do you think the technology will develop?