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Image Credit: Katrin Glinka

The chatbot group devised this strategy to create individual cards with information blocks that could be combined without any instruction. They expanded this strategy in the second round of "training" the chatbot. This gave them much more flexibility to react to the users asking for many different recipes. The chatbot group had not written an answer card with "noodles" but could present the users with a recipe consisting of 500 g four, eggs, and water. The girls in the user group that had prepared the input cards were actively and playfully trying to find the limits of the chatbot's knowledge. Both groups learned that planning for all possible human interactions is very difficult. The chatbot does not only need to know about cooking but also needs very good social skills to be able to communicate satisfactorily with the user.

Although the girls had not been familiar with the term "Computer Science" or the scope of this field before the workshop, they were very interested in learning what it entails and what they would learn in studying it. Their eagerness translated into very active participation: they were motivated to expand the chatbot dialogue and find humorous answers. After the workshop, the girls highlighted that they liked the hands-on method and were proud that they had managed to create a chatbot prototype on such short notice. They also mentioned that they enjoyed learning about the history of chatbots and that the workshop helped them understand why chatbots may not know everything.

The workshop was a fun and motivating experience for us. We particularly enjoyed communicating more directly with the girls in the in-person workshop, which also gave us much more opportunity to understand the girls' perspectives on our field of research and study.

Event report: Katrin Glinka, Ulrike Schäfer, Lars Sipos.