POL, a virtual AI chat buddy

Everyone knows that speaking a language is the key to the society you live in. For non-native speakers, mastering and using Dutch as a Second Language is therefore crucial. Being able to shop fluently, follow the news, understand cultural and communicative nuances… It’s these kinds of things that allow you to fully participate in society. But what if you simply don’t get the chance to practice? And what if you’re one of the thousands of teenagers who only get up to two years to master the language before transitioning from OKAN education to regular education?

For those OKAN (Welcome Class for Non-Dutch Speaking Newcomers) students aged between 11 and 14, we want to develop POL. POL is a personalized voicebot that responds to the students’ world and/or the topics covered at school. What makes POL unique is that conversations start based on a photo or an image shared by the young people in the app. This simple action allows our smart technology to generate a conversation via AI. The personal aspect of the chatbot is also reflected in the level of conversation. POL automatically adapts to the language level of the students and provides feedback throughout. Our extensive experience shows that young people are more willing to make mistakes in a digital environment than in real life. So, POL is not only an effective and motivating chat buddy but also a safe companion that helps them overcome their fear of speaking.

POL can be used entirely independently by the students but can also be perfectly integrated into NT2 lessons to support teachers.