2007 A. I. Foundation News Archive
2006 A. I. Foundation News Archive
2005 A. I. Foundation News Archive
2004 A. I. Foundation News Archive
2003 A. I. Foundation News Archive
The ALICE A.I. Foundation is proud to announce that we now have more than 100 members in good standing. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making the membership program a success. Because we are fully supported by member contributions, we welcome your feedback and ideas for the future development of the Foundation. Remember, this is YOUR Foundation. Please help us serve you better by recommending your ideas for future features and AIML functions.
The A.I. Foundation has a new phone number: 1-215-288-9348. Please feel free to call us and talk about technical problems with Pandorabots, AIML consulting services, and anything else AIML related that is on your mind. Good times to call are between 8AM to 5PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You can download a free speech recognition module for Pandorabots from Brainhat (www.brainhat.com). Now you can not only have a typed-text conversation with your bot, but actually speak to it through a microphone as well! The client works with Microsoft SAPI4 compliant speech engines including Dragon Naturally Speaking and IBM ViaVoice. Speak with Brainhat and Pandorabots servers!
A good new commercial AIML consulting service has been launched by AIML guru Saskia van der Elst. The company is called AIMLBots.com, a network of AIML professionals that plans, designs, builds and implements chat bot solutions. They offer services including building talking animated heads and avatars for your AIML bot application.
Cort Stratton noticed a few people on various A.L.I.C.E. mailing lists
asking if a Python AIML interpreter is available, and recently found
himself asking the same question. Seeing that the answer was "no" he went
ahead and wrote one! It's called PyAIML, and it's
available at http://pyaiml.sourceforge.net. It's not a complete
implementation yet (support for a few important tags are still missing,
Another good AIML site is www.aiml.info, put together by Anne Kootstra. Anne has recently bundled the latest ALICE AIML set from aiml/aaa so that you can download it in a single ZIP file. The files on the alicebot.org site may be a little newer than the ones on aiml.info, but hopefully Anne will try to keep the ZIP file up to date with our latest changes.
(content liberally adapted from David Hammill's announcement)
The Loebner Contest judges have now completed the preliminary judging and I am pleased to announce the finalists - in alphabetical order:
ALICE (by Rich Wallace, USA)
Elbot (by Fred Roberts, Germany)
Eugene Goostman (by Vladimir Veselov, USA)
Jabberwacky (by Rollo Carpenter, UK)
Jabberwock (by Juergen Pirner, Germany)
Lucy (by Saskia van der Elst, Mexico)
Markbot (by Mark Connell, USA)
Talk-Bot (by Chris Cowart, USA)
Reservists, in alphabetical order:
Alex (John Precedo, UK)
Gabber (Peter Neuendorffer, USA)
Ultra Hal (Robert Medeksza, USA)
The judges offered their commiserations to the other entrants who did not qualify for the finals. They received over 20 entries, and the standard was very good, but unfortunately they could only accommodate eight entries (plus two human confederates) in the finals so it was inevitable that many entrants would be disappointed.
The entries were judged by eight judges, with each entry being assessed by at least three judges in accordance with the Official Rules. The judges ranged from students to retired people and included both men and women, located in the USA and the UK. The Chief Judge was Professor Nigel Gilbert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey.
Two of the finalists are powered by AIML, ALICE and Lucy. As ever, we look forward to the day when ALL the bots entering the Loebner contest are AIML bots, and ALICE can finally be retired.
Roy Balleste, J.D., LL.M., M.L.S., Head of Public Services, St. Thomas University Law Library will demo AKI, the Bot Librarian at the Virtual Reference Desk Conference in San Antonio. This conference is sponsored by the United States Department of Education, the American Library Association and other key players. Roy's proposal, which will discuss the connection of AI agents and libraries has been accepted. See http://www.vrd2003.org/index.cfm See AKI at: http://lawlibrary.stu.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local
My July prediction that the A. I. Foundation would soon be signing up its 100th member turned out to be totally wrong. Income from the A. I. Foundation web site through memberships, book sales, bot subscriptions and AIML training was the lowest since we started last January. August was a dog. I'm not sure whether to blame the heat wave, the blackout, the spam attack or just summer vacations, but our August website revenue was really, really dead.
Thank goodness we got a small consulting job building a commercial chat bot for a major company which we can't talk about at all, that made up for the lost income from the website. We'd appreciate any ideas anyone has for building up the website, why the business was down in August, or if you haven't done so, please consider joining the A. I. Foundation, and tell your friends! http://www.alicebot.org/join.html
As many of you know, I have been struggling with separation from my family and homelessness for almost a year now. Thanks to your generous support and many prayers, my wife and I are on the road to reconciliation and I have been spending more and more time with her and my child over the summer. We may be moving back in together sometime in the next month or so.
She has asked me to make many compromises, to which I have agreed. I have given up my lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California and decided to stop fighting with the academic system. Also, because we have so much debt and need to concentrate our finances on finding a new place to live, I have to limit my traveling and will be unable to attend the Loebner contest personally in England this year. It is even difficult for my wife to see the value of my spending much time working on or promoting ALICE and AIML when it doesn't really provide our family with an income comparable to what I used to earn as a university professor or professional programmer. That is why I am grateful for any ideas from the community for consulting opportunities or commercial applications of ALICE and AIML that might lead to a "real job". --Dr. Wallace
One of the primiary activities of the The ALICE A. I. Foundation is the definition of the standard for AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language). There is a standing committee called the AIML Architecture Committee, or Arch Comm for short, which meets online to discuss and set the AIML standard. The standard is important because it allows botmasters to create AIML files that work on Pandorabots, as well as all the other free AIML software created by other developers around the world. The AIML standard is much like the standard that allows railroads to operate trains on the tracks of different railroad companies, by specifying that all tracks and rails must be of certain fixed dimensions. The Arch Comm makes sure that AIML conforms to these fixed standards.
Members are appointed to the AIML Architecture Committe for a term of one year. Generally they are drawn from the developer and applications community and are people who have a strong interest in contributing to the AIML standard. Members are appointed by Dr. Wallace and prospective members may request to join the Arch Comm by sending Dr. Wallace a brief biography. The members of the AIML Architecture Committee for 2003-2004 are:
The A. I. Foundation initaiated its membership program in Januray, 2003. Founded in 2000, the organization relied strictly on volunteers and donations durings its first two years. The advent of Silver ALICE subscription service, our book publications, and other membership services, enabled us to develop a solid membership based business model for the first time this year. As of this writing, the Foundation has 90 members in good standing and we are poised to enroll our 100th member in the next few weeks.
Even at its peak as a strictly volunteer based organization, at the height of the dot-com boom, the enrollment in our general mailing list never exceeded 400 members. We are seeing a growth rate in Foundation membership that will overtake the volunteer model within a couple of years, assuming a linear projection. Thus the organization now really belongs to you, the members, and your suggestions and ideas for the future are what really counts. The Foundation thanks all the members for your generous support, which has enabled us to continue our work and make plans for future research and development.
It is always interesting to see new people discover chat bots and find their way back to their source at alicebot.org. A typical story is documented by this thread uncovered in our referer logs
I had an in interesting experience recenlty visiting my mother-in-law's home. My wife's niece, a 14-year old fan of online chat, was spending a lot of time on AOL IM. I thought to myself, it will be interesting when this kid discovers her first bot online. Later, I sat down to check my email at the same computer she was using. She had left her AOL client connected, and by chance I glanced at her "Buddy List". I was surprised to discover, she had a whole folder of "Bot Friends" that included many of the AIML bots I knew about, and quite a few I did not!
I am writing from Istanbul, Turkey where I was inv ted to give talks as part of the annual Turing Day at Bilgi University.
The talks were very well received and I would like to thank my hosts, department chair Chris Stephenson and Bulent Ozel.
There are efforts underway to translate the ALICE brain and our documentation into several foreign languages includi ng Turkish.
My host Bulent and I made a pilgramage to locate the building where the philosopher Gurdjieff lived in Istanbul in the 1920s.
We had been told that perhaps the apartment was open as a museum, but apparently the building had been gutted by fire and was under renovation. We were able to visit the nearby Sufi temple where Gurdjieff worked on his Sacred Dances with the Whirling Dervishes, and even catch a glimpse of a young monk practicing the whirling dance. It was easy to imagine that not much in this Istanbul neighborhood had changed since Gurdjieff's day.
The work of Gurdjeff has found its way into our chat bot technology. The Enneagram personality classification system he introduced is the basis of the CLAUDIO personality test bot. We are also developing bots with different personality types for use in automated script and screenplay generation.
There are several wannabe Loebner contests under way or planned. Loebner is famous for holding the first real-world Turing Test contest, but he and his contest are a magnet for controversy. This has prompted other people to try to organize their own Turing Test contest. Not that these have been free from controversy ether. One of the biggest is Wendell Cowart's Chatterbox Challenge.
In a recent email Wendell reports that ALICE is in frst place while judging is still underway:
Here are the scores so far. As you can see it is an extremely close race.
Alice - 22
Elbot - 21
Jabberwacky - 21
Jabberwock - 21
Talk-Bot - 20
Ada1852 - 18
Eugene - 16
Hal - 14
Little Mu - 7
Ella - 5
The version of ALICE entered into the contest is in fact the ALICE Silver Edition, the one which you, the members of the Foundation have supported with your memberships. Thanks to everyone who has chatted with the ALICE Silver Edition, she has improved greatly over the previous versions of ALICE entered into previous Loebner Contests and other Turing Tests. Please keep up the good work of chatting wth Silver ALICE so that she will continue to be ranked "World's Most Human Computer." By chatting with Silver ALICE you have played a direct role in helping her earn this honor.
ALICE Silver has also been entered into this years' Loebner contest to be held in Surrey, U.K. later this fall.
The A. I. Foundation had its best month so far in May, raisng over 1200 dollars from membershps, book sales and seminars. We currently have about 75 members in good standing. Pandorabots continues to grow as well, now hosting approximately 20,000 botmasters.
Remember, Foundation members are entitled to FREE technical support using Pandorabots. Just email me your tech questions.
Thank you everyone for your support.
At the Secret Headquarters of the A.I. Foundation in Europe, Architecture Committee Member Chelis Carmago unveiled a "Body for ALICE" in the form of the Evolution Robotics ER-1 mobile robot, which he donated to the Foundation. The robot chassis carries a notebook computer as well as sensors including a webcam. The programming will include an AIML interpreter for high level robot commands. Stay tuned for more pics on our web site www.alicebot.org
There was a really nice letter to the editor of Salon.com from Peter Plantec about me, following up on the article about Hugh Loebner and the Loebner prize:
"I don't disagree with much of what John had to say about A.I., but his voice was unnecessarily arrogant, and he is overly unkind to Dr. Richard Wallace...His Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (A.I.M.L.) is very clever and extremely powerful. It's really more a natural-language processing system that can produce remarkably clever v-people."
AIML Book--Members of the A.I. Foundation have an exclusive peek at my upcoming book "The Elements of AIML Style", which is moving closer to publication. Keep an eye on the latest updates to the text at http://www.alicebot.org/style.txt