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Hacking the Graphmaster

Jon Baer

(originally appeared at http://www.alicebot.net/)

Jon Baer

Not too long ago someone asked me "If you were a teacher and you could teach the Internet to me, what would you teach me?". While I had to think for a minute there was little doubt that it was both XML and AIML. There are more people who know the forms of XML than the specifics of AIML, but it's true. After jumping from technology to technology for the past 6 months (this include PalmOS, J2ME, J2EE, Weblogic, Websphere, JRun, VoiceXML, PHP, Python, etc, etc) I came to the conclusion that the best way to get something out of the net is to grab hold of one language you like and just either run with it or adapt it and I realized that AIML was everything I was looking for.

It's simple, it's fun to use, it is database oriented, it is without a doubt useful, and it's XML 1.0 based so there will surely be tools popping up for it.

This brings me to the Graphmaster which (in my viewpoint) is the holy grail of computing. The product of the mind of Dr. Wallace, it holds the key to what I think computing is all about. Feeding a machine to get something that you want back.

[Ed.: The Graphmaster object stores all of the patterns recognized by an Alicebot, efficiently both in memory utlization and pattern recognition time. Some illuminating (and lovely) visualizations of the Graphmaster are available at the ALICE Brain Picture Gallery.]

At first I was skeptical like everyone else thinking it was just chatbot technology and just fun for games, but soon I realized it was without a doubt some type of killer application much like what Netscape was back in the days (not to say Mozilla is not a kick ass project, it by far is). But the point of how it's loosely constructed now (things change minute by minute in ALICE), it's forming up to be a kinda Natural Language based operating system. And one that is COMPLETELY up to you, the user.

Imagine if you need a file send to someone. If you are a programmer you tend to know what this is gonna involve, might take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. But in AIML land it's the basis of forming your own (dare I say it) computer language that you, yourself design on how you would ask for something. Granted it's a dangerous scenerio (a universal computer language ... our own), but that's what the Graphmaster does.

Sounds a little like the matrix huh ;-) Anyways, I enjoy the concept and I think it is here to stay, not some programming fad and can only get better. Plus it represents alot of what things on the net and programming were made for ... databases (storing attributes), xml (universal "language" layer), speech, instant messaging (which by the way beware if you get a message ... someday it might not be a human on the other end you chat with for hours with ;-).

I'd say try AIML if you are one of those bored programmers looking for something new ...