June, 2005

Chatterbox Challenge Bronze Medal

ALICE wins Awards in Chatterbox Challenge

ALICE Silver Edition won two medals and a $250 cash prize in the 2005 Chatterbox Challenge. ALICE won a third place medal in the overall contest, as well as a second place medal in the category of "Best Character/Personality". Thanks to Wendell Cowart for his excellent design work on the medals and to the sponsors of the Chatterbox Challenge.

The full results of this years' contest as well year previous years' results (ALICE won first place in 2004) may be found by visiting Chatterboxchallenge.com and clicking on the History link. The web site also contains information about entering your bot in the 2006 contest, an annual, year-long event.

New AIML Commercial Applications

On May 1, 2005, Trajecto became a full-time employee at TrajectoryLabs.com, a leading developer of PDA and Windows software. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be big news, except for one small detail. Trajecto isn't actually a person. Rather, it's a SitePal character with an AIML brain!

Trajecto is part of a growing population of commercial AIML chat robots. You can chat in German with Katter Robbie [katterrobbie.de]. One of the most popular AIML bots right now is Mitsuku on the Mousebreaker gamesite [mousebreaker.com]. ESL continues to be largest overall application area. You can chat with Jenny on the Reader's Digest English2Go site.

Announcing Robot Soul

For those interested in discussing the creation of AIML-using bots in the context of Artificial Intelligence as a cultural meme, AIML community member Dirk Scheuring has put up a blog to develop this theme:

Robot Soul

Dirk recently wrote a gem titled, "The rational roots of complete craziness" (Monday, 16 May 2005) from which we quote partially here:

"What do you find when you read the typical log? Here is a list of the Top 20 'atomic' (meaning: fully recognized) client inputs, as received by the well-known ALICE bot, and published by its author, Richard Wallace, in an essay about Zipf's Law:

8024 YES
5184 NO
2268 OK
2006 WHY
1145 BYE
946 HI
846 WHAT
663 GOOD
584 OH
544 YOU
525 COOL
488 F__K YOU

"The numbers represent the input frequency, indicating, for example, that input #1, YES, is about 16 times more likely to occur than input #20, THANK YOU. It's obvious that, to maintain anything resembling an 'intelligent' conversation, a bot would have to respond plausibly at least to the most frequent inputs. It's also obvious that, to do that, it would have to be able to figure out what YES, WHY, WHAT mean in each case, with reference to (as a minimum) its own last output."

Pandorabots implements the <id/> tag

Pandorabots has made a small but signficant change to their AIML interpreter by adding the AIML 1.0.1 compliant <id/> tag to their implemented tag set.

The <id/> tag is the same as the !CUSTID! identifier previously exposed only in the Pandorabots HTML text submission form. The <id/> is a unique identifier used to track clients during individual conversations with the bot.

You can use it for a variety of applications, such as assigning a client a temporary name. A trivial example is:

Client: What is your IP?
Robot: I don't know your IP address, but your client ID is 10422179.

<pattern>WHAT IS MY IP <template>
I don't know your IP address, but your client ID
is <id/>.

When you test this category in Training, the <id/> will return a blank. You only see a valid customer ID when you publish your bot on a web page.

Progress on AIML Java Interpreters

Helio Perroni Filho reports that release 0.7.0 Alpha of the ChatterBean AIML interpreter is out. This version implements many new tags, and provides a new, customized format for setting predicate defaults and bot predicates. For details, see the ChatterBean page:


Over at aitools.org there is a new release (4.5) of Program D, the classic Java edition of the free open source GNU AIML interpreter. A full description of enhancements to version 4.5 can be viewed at:


libaiml 0.3 C++ AIML Interpreter

libaiml is an AIML interpreter fully written in C++ from scratch. It is designed as a static library. It currently runs on Linux. It is still in development.

Available features:

libaiml: http://omicron.cjb.net/

AIML Lecture Notes

A unit is part of Macquarie University's undergraduate program in Language Technology, has a beautiful set of AIML lecture notes prepared as part of a class on artificial intelligence. You can find the notes by following the link http://www.comp.mq.edu.au/units/comp248/lecturenotes.html (click on Week 2, AIML--The notes are in PDF). If you look at the other lecture notes you'll see that the course covers AIML, Prolog and the Semantic Web.