Monday, March 10, 2008

Godsbot Free for All


Botmaster Ron Ingram, long-time AIML developer and author of the Buddhabot, has advanced his bot to create a new version of 'God'. The God personality is consistenty the most popular bot on Pandorabots. Ron's Godsbot is designed with a more Christian perspective. As well as releasing the bot, Ron has created a blog dedicated to his fascinating ideas. Here is what Ron had to say about the creation of Godsbot, in his own words:

First I cloned my Buddhabot; a bot that I have been working on for several years initially developed by manually manipulating and customizing all of the original ALICE files in excel (if I were recreating Buddhabot today I probably would have started with the Superbot program but this was not available to me in2004). For more information on the evolution of Buddhabot go to Buddhabots.com and read the "News" tab which provides a list of the new AIML files and content as they were added. All of these subsequent AIML files were built in excel, copied into a textfile, renamed with an .aiml extension and then uploaded to Pandorabots.com.

Second, I modified the original Buddhabot properties to reflect a Christian perspective.

Third, I created some new Christian aiml files in excel using the same procedure as described in item 1 above.

Fourth, I created a blog that provides information on the mission and purpose behind this project.

This last point is where I think some botmasters maybe missing an opportunity. I think every bot needs a personality and a purpose. When we first meet a human, we aim to find points of relation (who, what, and where). We seek to determine a name, where the person is from, and so on, building up relational probabilities. Then the fun really begins as we start trying to learn who someone really is but normally we have little interest in discovering much about a stranger on the street unless we identify a striking commonality. Likewise with a bot, I believe we need to create a persona and a platform based on something sincere and authentic that we (and the bot) can be passionate about. This is how we may begin to go beyond novelty and gimmick and begin to establish a"real" persona capable of sustaining longer conversations and developing relationships.

The purpose of godsbot is two-fold:

* to advance interest in peaceful relations among people of faith; and,

* to attract donations so I can spend more time doing what I love (AI research and development).

Good luck and stop by for a free chat with Godsbot at godsbot.org.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Time and Effort to Create a Unique Bot Personality

The free A.L.I.C.E. bot contains about 120,000 AIML categories, the category being the basic unit of knowledge in AIML. A category is essentially one question-and-answer stimulus-response pair. Anyone is free to use the open source A.L.I.C.E. brain as the basis for his bot, but for commercial applications, the A.L.I.C.E. content may be inappropriate. A.L.I.C.E. contains many "humorous" and politically-incorrect responses designed to make her personality more believable, but these responses are undesirable for a bot representing a corporation. Even many entertainment applications require responses quite different than A.L.I.C.E.'s.

Although the A.L.I.C.E. bot has 120K categories, not as many are required to create a believable bot personality. From our experience a bot with 10,000 AIML categories will create a believable illusion of intelligence. That is why we created the Superbot AIML set, essentially a list of the top 10,000 most-activated AIML categories with blank responses. The process of creating a unique, proprietary bot personality can be reduced to essentially "filling in the blanks" of the Superbot data.

A good AIML botmaster can write about one AIML category per minute. This is not to say that every AIML category takes 1 minute to write. Some categories require a lot of thought and could take up to 30 minutes to create. In other cases, many hundreds of categories can be created by "cut and paste" in less than a minute. But overall, an average of about 1 per minute is reasonable in our experience.

10,000 categories at the rate of 1 per minute is about 7 days of time, working 24 hours a day. A more practical scenario, with rest periods included, is two or three proficient AIML botmasters working over a one or two month period. Those wishing to create a totally unique, proprietary bot personality, should take into account the cost of hiring these consultants.

A word on AIML content: there is no magic A.I. engine that can translate domain-specific knowledge into AIML. Suppose you want a bot that talks about your brass fitting business. It is certainly possible to create an AIML bot that answers all the most common questions about brass fittings. You may even have a FAQ or Wiki with much of this knowledge already encoded. You can train an AIML bot to talk about anything, but it is a painstaking process that takes time, depending on how familiar the botmasters are with the domain. If the botmaster knows nothing about the brass fitting business, and you are an expert, it may be easier for you to learn AIML than to teach the botmaster the brass fitting business. In many such cases it is more cost effective to teach domain experts AIML, than to hire AIML consultants and teach them the domain knowledge.

ELIZA pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum dies


Joseph Weizenbaum, MIT professor, co-founder of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, and creator of the famous ELIZA psychotherapist program, died at his home in Berlin at age 85, according to EE Times. The ELIZA program is the ur-chatbot from which A.L.I.C.E. and nearly all other chatbot programs are descended. ELIZA introduced the concepts of stimulus-response, pattern matching, and pronoun transformation to natural language processing. Remarkably, Weizenbaum was reportedly "shocked" that MIT students and staff anthropomorphised the simple program. They revealed personal information to the bot in online chats. In response, Weizenbaum spent much of the rest of his career as a critic of computer science in general, and artificial intelligence in particular.

Many others also said that the ELIZA program was not a serious development in natural language processing, and it was derided as a 'toy'. By the late 1990's however it became apparent that massive case-based pattern matching was a practical method for achieving lifelike human-computer conversations, essentially the same techique as ELIZA on a bigger scale. All chat bot developers, not just those of us using AIML, owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneering work of Prof. Weizenbaum.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Square-Bear's New AIML Repository

One of our most prolific AIML botmasters, Square-Bear, has devoted a web page to his AIML creations. Square-Bear has developed many new games and AIML applications that point us in the direction of the "Star Trek-style talking computer of the future." Some of Square-Bear's creations include:

Drphil.aiml - A personality test converted to AIML.

Horoscope.aiml - Random horoscope fortune-telling in AIML.

Yomama.aiml - A collection of "yo mamma" type jokes for when the user starts insulting the bot's mother.

You can download these free files, and many more, from http://square-bear.co.uk/aiml/
 

blogger templates | Make Money Online