A collaboration between academics from The Open University (OU) and the University of Zagreb has launched the first Croatian chatbot about reading.
OU academics Dr Shafquat Towheed from the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences (FASS) and Dr Alessio Antonini from the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), alongside Dr Maya Parmar from Hadithi, are collaborating with ‘PoKUS’, the ‘Remembering Literature in Everyday Life’ project. PoKUS is led by Dr Lovro Škopljanac, with Dr Velna Rončević and Luka Ostojić, from The University of Zagreb in Croatia.
‘Remembering Literature in Everyday Life’ aims to identify facts about the memory of literature in Croatian everyday life, through semi-structured interviews with up to one thousand respondents. The project focuses squarely on the reader, and their day-to-day experiences, memories, and habits of reading. It’s conducted at the Department of Comparative Literature, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Zagreb and funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (2021-26).
Antonini, Parmar and Towheed – all members of the now concluded READ-IT project, draw upon strong research synergies with PoKUS in this collaboration. Following the READ-IT chatbot launch in August 2020, they seek to engage new Croatian audiences with the bot. The chatbot has been co-redeveloped with the PoKUS team to produce a bespoke offering in both Croatian and English. This collaboration supports PoKUS’s academic enquiry, data collection and public engagement.
To launch the chatbot, the OU-PoKUS team are hosting a free online interactive workshop with Croatian students and researchers at 1.30pm (BST) on Wednesday 30 March. The OU team will remotely demonstrate the READ-IT toolkit, then invite participants to record their reading memories via the tool.
The workshop will include an introduction to the READ-IT reading toolkit, a technical overview, with a Q&A, and an opportunity to engage with the chatbot and share reading memories.
For more information and to register for the event, please visit Eventbrite.