Humans of Edubots JJ Merelo

Written by:
Lars Willner
Granada, Spain

What's your name, how old are you and where do you come from?

JJ Merelo, 56, small town in Jaén, Spain, called Úbeda. World heritage city, and really deserving it

What do you do for a living?

I teach at the University of Granada, in the Computer Science Department.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I guess meeting someone who's been my student 20 years back and him or her stopping over to talk for a while, and actually telling you that they have fond memories of that class.

Can you remember the first time you met a chatbot?

You mean, besides Eliza in emacs? I guess it was Elvira, an assistant in the web of the University of Granada, who used actual persons with actual voice anwerring your (very limited) questions. I wasn't enthusiastic, to tell you the truth.

How would you describe your current relationship to chatbots?

I use them all the time in my class, even if they are not properly chatbots, but dummy bots that respond to orders. All will be done in due course.

How do you believe students will engage with chatbots in the future?

They will probably use whatever technology is available to boost their grades, if possible without involving a bigger amount of actual studying taking place. Students (and people in general) have a story of using technology to improve their lives, so they will probably use them to remind them of assignments or help them research some topic in a conversational way.

What are you hoping to get out from the Edubots project?

An outstanding collaboration with a highly knowledgeable and hard-working human team.