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AI proves capable of assisting foreigners to learn Chinese

(People's Daily Online)    17:41, December 07, 2017

Alibaba’s artificial intelligence (AI) has recently demonstrated an unexpected skill in correcting Chinese exam papers for foreigners, according to Zhejiang Online, a news site based in East China.

The AI can spot and sort out the mistakes in each paper, including redundant words, missing words, wrong selections, and wrong grammar in just 40 seconds.

The papers on the topic “Please Write down Your Hobbies” were done by 11 students from six foreign countries, including Russia, South Korea, and Zambia.

The students are learning Chinese at an international studies university in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province.

It is the first time AI has been used to revise Chinese exam papers done by foreigners, and the intelligent technology has proved to be as accurate and careful as human teachers.

“I read really hard and carefully until I found the grammatical mistakes the AI pointed out within seconds. Alibaba’s AI has exceeded people in some sense,” a Chinese professor said, referring to two wrong sentences in an exam paper.

The owner of the paper said he feels interested in and “tortured” by Chinese learning, admitting that it is a common feeling of many foreign learners.

The Alibaba AI has learnt hundreds of thousands of Chinese language systems, scanned them, and turned them into text. The technology can find mistakes in a paper and categorize them in less than one minute.

“We expect the technology to assist foreign students to learn Chinese better,” said a teacher.

Days earlier, iDST, another Alibaba project, took the first place in identifying and correcting grammatical mistakes in a contest.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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