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New MOOC will focus on Communicating with Robots and Bots

Curtin University’s latest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will explore the exciting and in-demand subject of how people communicate and interact with robots and bots in everyday life, both now and in the future.

According to a recent press release, Communicating with Robots and Bots is a free four-week course and one of three in an XSeries of related MOOCs titled From Digital Technologies to Social Media.

The MOOC is delivered through the edX online learning platform and will teach learners about how robots and bots are being developed to populate homes, workplaces and social spaces, as well as the online spaces we frequent.

The Course Coordinator from Curtin’s School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry shared that the MOOC offered an opportunity to learn about how people communicate with robots and bots and what the future holds for human-robot communication and collaboration.

Communicating with Robots and Bots

There are four modules to the course. These are:

Module 1 discusses the difficulties of defining what a robot is, as well as briefly introducing bots.

Module 2 focuses on bots, chatbots and socialbots in detail, to consider how people communicate with these programs in online spaces, as well as some ethical questions these interactions raise.

Module 3 focuses on robots in the home, with a discussion of robots designed to act as personal assistants leading into some examples of assistive and care robots.

It also looks into telepresence robots that allow people to interact with one another at a distance through a robot.

Module 4 considers robots at work, from the potential of telepresence robots to enable remote operations, to robots designed to share people’s workspaces, and potentially even take their jobs.

One example of a public space where robots might alter people’s working and social lives greatly is on the roads with the development of self-driving vehicles, robots that need to be able to communicate with their passengers as well as with other road users.

Significance of the MOOC

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Jill Downie said the increasing presence of robots and bots in the lives of the people meant this MOOC was both relevant and useful to learners as they prepare for the world of tomorrow.

Moreover, people around the world, particularly those who want to learn more about the relationship between people and robots in the home, at work and in the broader society, will find value in this MOOC.

These online courses offer even more flexibility to students, professionals and global learners wishing to build on their skills, pursue a passion or enhance their qualifications.

Communicating with Robots and Bots will run in self-paced mode from September 17, 2019, so participants may enroll and complete it at any time.

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