AIML Guru Glenn Sanders created a beautiful flowchart showing how AIML works together with speech recognition and avatars to get a bot responding to a user. Voice recognition implements a signal (voice) to text transformation. Speech synthesis (TTS), along with the avatar animation, implements a text-to-signal transformation. AIML is designed to fit in the middle, to provide the text-to-text transformation that appears to produce an intelligent reply to the human input.
Three of the most popular voice recognition packages are Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking, IBM's ViaVoice and MacSpeech iListen for the Macintosh. The new Microsoft Vista operating system is also bundled with proprietary voice recognition software. The general consensus is that Dragon Naturally Speaking is the best product in this class.
Companies such as Oddcast/Sitepal, Media Semantics/HostABot, and Haptek, offer Avatar solutions that are compatible with AIML output. The Avatar is usually bundled with TTS software, although the speech synthesis may be third-party software, such as AT&T Speech, Microsoft Agent, or Loquendo. Many people have said that Loquendo TTS is currently the best product for generating the most natural sounding speech.
Charles Chevallier has announced on his Sourceforge project site ( http://charlix.sourceforge.net/ ) there is a new page all about ReversedAIML including some examples: http://charlix.sourceforge.net/reversedaiml.html .
ReversedAIML is an AIML file that transforms simple text into AIML. Basically, it analyzes each sentence and embeds possible questions about the content into AIML. It does this by searching for and analyzing the verbs, objects and other grammatical elements in each sentence.
For example, if ReversedAIML 'reads' this sentence: "Charlix is a desktop assistant." it creates the following questions:
WHO IS A DESKTOP ASSISTANT
WHO IS CHARLIX
WHAT IS CHARLIX
WHAT IS A DESKTOP ASSISTANT
WHAT IS CHARLIX
WHAT IS A DESKTOP ASSISTANT
IS CHARLIX A DESKTOP ASSISTANT
These questions are embedded in AIML, and can be used for any AIML-based application.
Monica Peters published an interesting guide to publishing your bot on Social Networking Sites, including working examples on MySpace, LiveJournal, BaseCamp and many others. http://www.monicalamb.com/projectanima/
Social Networking Sites include such popular web destinations as Tagged.com, MySpace.com, LiveJournal, TaDaList, BaseCamp, 37Signals.com, FrappR.com, FaceBook.com, 360.yahoo.com, Flickr.com, ListOGraphy.com, FaceBook, and 43Things. Most social networking websites allow you to either link to your own content, embed it, into a small box or module. The HTML <iframe> tag provides one way to embed bots in web pages. Monica shows how to use the <iframe> and <embed> tags to link to your bot from one of these sites.
Usman Akeju wrote a simple Google Gadget for ALICE (essentially, a frame that points to ALICE). There is no modification to the content or behavior of ALICE involved, just a pointer to the A. I. Foundation page. The Google GadgetsAPI is a simple way to create content and applications that run on multiple Google products. With Google Gadgets For Your Page, most gadgets can run on any web page. In most cases, you can write the gadget once and have it work everywhere, with absolutely no changes.
The ALICE Gadget may be found in the Google Gadget directory: http://www.google.com/ig/catalog?synd=univcontest&num=24&url=http://mit.edu/manus/www/gg/alicebot.xml&q=&start=24
Anthony Riesman and Navillus Batra, graduates of the Electrical Engineering department at the University of Washington in Seattle, have founded a company called Metaverse Technology, which is working on a very cool use of AIML. They have created an interface program for Second Life to connect and talk to any Pandorabot. They have also recently implemented some other pretty cool features that work well inside the virtual world of Second Life. You can take a look at some pictures and descriptions here: http://www.metaversetech.com/postnuke/html/index.php?name=Sections&req=viewarticle&artid=9&page=1
They recently had an article written about their work at http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/11/chatty_hallie.html
Their goal is to sell the interface within Second Life, and allow people to create their own bots. Other then the interface object the users would have no other costs. They are working on some documentation at the moment on how to set up a bot at Pandorabots.com and some AIML programming basics.
You might want to try the AIMLpad editor. Although there are a few Pandorabot tags like <learn>, <eval> and <date>, used in that interpreter that are not properly interpreted in AIMLpad's interpreter, all of the AIML used in Pandorabot can be edited by this tool. It is free. It is a Windows application. It contains utilities like merging duplicate categories, listing shadowed categories, identifying simple recursion in a category, etc. It has tools for quick translation of text into categories (or targets). Its search dialog allows refactoring of the AIML files. It has a snippet manager to reuse text which might emphasize the bot's character traits and a notes area to help keep track of things to do during the authoring of an AIML set. It can be scripted to assist in creating the AIML. It has been around for a few years, so it probably is getting pretty stable as a tool. AIMLPad might be something to consider. www.aimlpad.com.
AIMLpad connects to OpenCyc for a common sense knowledgebase that has some reasoning capabilities. It has sample scripts that connect to ConceptNet to parse English and extract key ideas in given text. It has a fuzzy logic expert system with both forwards and backwards chaining. It uses MS Agent and has extensions to animate as well as speak. It has options to time out so that a natural pause at the end of an utterance using speech-to-text software like Dragon Naturally Speaking will trigger a response. The built-in scripting language allows you to get from or post to a website to retrieved web pages off the Internet. It uses WordNet 2.1 to define words or tag parts of speech. It has an emotion engine as an extension to the AIML tag set. And it was designed to automate the creation of AIML.
Recent additions include a snippets manager so that idioms and personality traits can be saved/pasted to repeat when editing categories for developing character. A separate note taking area was added to keep track of to-do tasks while writing AIML. Wordwrap can be turned on or off so that formatting a single category per line makes editing a little like a table layout, but you can fancy format a category for easier editing simply by using a short-cut key. Or you can use another short cut keystroke to edit the category in the targeting dialog. These options are also in the pop-up context menu when you right click on the AIML.
How does ALICE and AIML work with speech recognition, and with voice synthesis and avatars?
Conceptually, we think of building A. I. like putting together pieces in a puzzle. Three of the most important pieces are Speech Recognition, Natural Language Understanding, and Speech Synthesis. The third piece may also include an avatar or animated talking character. These three pieces fit tightly together because the interfaces between each module are relatively well defined. The Speech Recognition module transforms audio input signals into text symbols. The Natural Language unit is a text-to-text transform. A.L.I.C.E. and AIML implement a version of this transformation. Finally, the third piece transforms text into analog audio-visual signals.
Many companies and research projects have been working for a long time on the Speech Recognition module. Two of the major products are Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking, and IBM ViaVoice. The SPHINX project is an open source free software speech recognition engine. According to the Inquirer, Microsoft is planning to bundle its own proprietary speech recognition software with Windows Vista. If the Natural Language unit accepts input through the browser, and the speech recognition software can dictate into an HTML form, then it is easy to make a simple connection between Speech Recognition software and an AIML interpreter like Pandorabots.
On the speech synthesis/avatar side, there are again several companies and products available that have been configured to work with AIML. These include Oddcast/Sitepal, HostABot/Media Semantics, and Haptek. Microsoft and AT&T are among the larger companies that provide speech synthesis tools, often bundled directly with the avatar software.
AIML was always designed to be compatible with Speech Recognition and Voice Synthesis software. We who work on the "A.I." part of Natural Language Understanding, the botmasters who write AIML, have more than enough work cut out for us with the Text-to-Text transformation piece. Nor do we have the resources or facilities to compete with large companies like Microsoft or IBM in the Speech field. We recognize that their technologies have limits however, and AIML picks up where they leave off.
Rollo Carpenter, winner of the Bronze medal in the 2005 Loebner Prize Contest, was again awarded the medal and $2000 cash prize this year for the "world's most human computer" in the contest held in London on September 17. Rollo customized a version of his bot Jabberwacky and submitted it to the contest as Joan. Huma Shah assisted with on-site organization at the University of Westminster. The Turing Test judges ranged in age from 30 to 56 and included a barrister, a journalist, a professor of A.I. and a professor of Cybernetics. The story was picked up by the press and reported in The Brietbart Report, The MIT Technology Review, The Independent of London, The Guardian of London twice. Contest founder Hugh Loebner was also quoted in the September 23 issue of New Scientist (p. 26). Video is available from ABC News, and the BBC News . More press links may be found on the official Jabberwacky.com web site.
The rankings of the Final Four programs participating in the contest are shown in the following table. (A.L.I.C.E. did not compete in this year's contest).
|1||Rollo Carpenter||www.jabberwacky.com||2005 Loebner Prize Winner|
|2||Robert Medeksza||www.zabaware.com||Ultra Hal Assistant|
|3||Noah Duncan||Ladue Horton Watkins High School||"A combination of techniques|
used by Jabberwacky and Alice."
|4||Richard Churchill and|
Marie Claire Jenkins
|University of East Anglia||Academic Research Project|
Links to transcripts of the contest may be fount at: http://loebner.net/Prizef/2006_Contest/loebner-prize-2006.html. The transcript format reflects the unusual character-by-character communications protocol proscribed by Hugh Loebner for this year's contest. To help view them, he posted a Perl program called LoebnerPlayer at http://loebner.net/Prizef/LoebnerPlayer.txt. Loebner says, "Change .txt to .pl. The web host seems not to like browsers requesting files with .pl extensions... I haven't commented it very much, but it's really a very simple program, almost trivial."
Houssem Bdioui has announced the release of ProgramQ v1.1. Program Q is a C++ Qt-based AIML engine supporting seamlessly Latin and Arabic character sets. QAIML is a C++ Qt-based library offering a simple API to parse AIML XML files and then interacting with a user input with Latin/Arabic support (Unicode). Program Q (formerly QAIML) is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/qaiml.
Here is the complete log of changes:
Shahin Maghsoudi from Robot-Hosting.com reports that
they have an article in UNLIMITED business magazine (NZ - Oct 2006)
Robot-Hosting.com/html/n-news.html and another one in (Systems Integration Magazine) from (Singapore - Sept 2006).
Brian E. Hoecht, President & CEO of Ai-Dealer LLC (www.ai-dealer.com) is mentioned as a collaborator in UNLIMITED business magazine.
Then, on Sept. 21 2006, Shahin reported that, after several meetings that took months, Robot-Hosting.com and CSI came to an initial agreement. CSI is the Centre for Software Innovation, operating in the Computer Science department of the University of Auckland.
Robot-Hosting is working on a complex R&D project that it plans and a grant application was sent to techNZ of NZTE. The initial plan was that the project be funded 50% by Robot-Hosting and 50% by techNZ. After agreement with CSI, this R&D plan was expanded and to include a couple more sub-systems to be researched and prototyped. For the new sub-systems, A.I. scientists from the university will assist the company's R&D team. The new budget of the project will be doubled. An expanded plan will be presented to techNZ for consideration. Robot-Hosting is an A.I. software development company, a producer of Robots with artificial intelligence. At the moment their Robots are working for universities around the world as assistant lecturers and for retail stores as sales persons. The R&D project is designed to increase the intelligence of the Robots beyond the capabilities and limitations of human mind.
For additional information, contact shahin ta robot-hosting.com
Hardly a month goes by without another release from mehri (foreverlinux ta yahoo) of the popular C++ Windows/Linux RebeccaAIML interpreter. Released under the LGPL, RebeccaAIML also includes comprehensive documentation and samples as well as showcases/teaches popular and recent C++ practices.
Mehri now includes the executable, regression, in both the Windows and Linux prebuilt packages. This is for downloaders to be able to verify the quality of Rebecca for the version they download.
He says, "If you are not interested in the regression test suite then you do not have to worry about updating to this version. Other than including the regression suite, this version is identical to 0.987."
Mehri also added the regression test suite to the autoconf build system where it builds it by default. This is for those who port RebeccaAIML to another platform to be able to run regression tests to ensure the quality of the port. Use
to see all the autoconf options available.
Daniel Springwald has announced the release of the newest beta-version of the GaitoBot AIML Editor. This beta release includes some new features including:
You can download the GaitoBot AIML Editor free for Windows XP. Please have a look at:
Perhaps to avoid confusion with rival company Conversive, Conversagent has changed its name to Colloquis (pronounced "cull oh' kwis," derives from the Latin word "colloquium," meaning conversation).
The new home for our forums, SDK downloads and documentation is now at:
A demonstration of a commercial bot using Conversive technology may be found at:
The AIML Superbot is available in both BuddyScript AND Conversive format:
Hugh Loebner selected four Finalists for his annual Turing Test competition, to be held Sunday, 17 September 2006 at Torrington Theater, University College, London. This years' competitors include last years' Bronze medal winner, two commercial chat bot entries, a university academic research project, and an entry by a high school student.
|Rollo Carpenter||www.jabberwacky.com||2005 Loebner Prize Winner|
|Richard Churchill and|
Marie Claire Jenkins
|University of East Anglia||Academic Research Project|
|Noah Duncan||Ladue Horton Watkins High School||"A combination of techniques|
used by Jabberwacky and Alice."
|Robert Medeksza||www.zabaware.com||Ultra Hal Assistant|
The main controversy surrounding the contest this year was Loebner's choice of an ad-hoc communications protocol to simulate human typing, character-by-character. Previously, most bots had interacted by IM style protocols, exchanging information with a client on a message-by-message basis. Loebner made the task more challenging by requiring that the bots be able to respond asynchronously, without clear end-of-message boundaries. He also implemented his own communications program in Perl, which stores the transmitted characters in individual directories. Some prospective contestants questioned this unusual protocol, and wondered aloud why Dr. Loebner didn't choose an established protocol such as TCP sockets, Telnet, or an IM service.
The annual Loebner Prize Competition awards a Bronze medal and a cash prize for the computer program that comes closest to passing the Turing Test. A Silver Medal, for actually passing the Turing Test through typewritten communication, has never been awarded. Nor has the ultimate prize, a Gold Medal for the first program to pass an audio-visual Turing Test. The Alice AI program won the Bronze Loebner Prize medal in 2000, 2001 and 2004. Unfortunately, Alice missed the deadline for this years' contest.
Dave Maass, writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker, wrote an article last year about the Chatterbox Challenge for the Drexel University Dfire.org literary magazine. He recently wrote to us with a link to the original, unedited version of the bot story. It's available now through Dave's blog right now: http://maassive.com/?page_id=203
Dave says, "Feel free to just copy it and republish it on your site. :)"
Dave Maass lives in Seattle.
From the article:
Dr. Rich Wallace, the human brains behind A.L.I.C.E.'s digital one, says that "content development", or coming up with things for the bot to say, is what's bottlenecking AI technology.
"A good botmaster," Wallace said, "might be able to add one answer per minute. That's why it's taken a decade. To fill out an 'empty' A.L.I.C.E. bot with 10,000 answers, takes about 7 days of work, 24 hours a day. So about a month for one dedicated creative team."
Both Wallace and Carpenter are working on projects (also with profit potential) that would require much speedier response writing. Wallace calls his "personality digitalization"; Carpenter calls his "digital immortalization". To put it simply: making a digital copy of yourself.
"For example, to create a Dave Maass bot, I would like to interview you like this, give you a personality test, background info, word association game," Wallace said. "And at the end, we would have all the answers for a Dave Maass version of the bot. The process may take a couple of days, but hopefully not 10 years, or a month."
Kevin Andreassend, CTO of Robot-Hosting.com, demonstrates their latest technology in two pages of Systems Integration Asia magazine:
Kevin says, "By combining four unique technologies - intelligent video warehousing, virtual intelligence, interactive and sensor surface, and ICE Digital Daytime Screen (TM) technology, we have created human like clones with the full capability of human knowledge and emotion."
Mehri reports that Charles Chevallier of ReverseAIML and Charlix the desktop assistant (http://charlix.sourceforge.net) has tested RebeccaAIML .9861 and has found some minor but definite bugs.
RebeccaAIML 0.987 has now been released with the bug fixes to address these issues within 1 week of his reporting and his test cases are now in the regression test suite to ensure they do not occur ever again.
Download of .987 (Binaries for Windows XP, Fedora Core 3, 4, and 5 as well as source code):
HomePage and what RebeccaAIML is about: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/index.htm
Thanks to Charles and the community for finding and reporting any bugs found. Mehri says he will try his best to get a release out as quickly as possible when they get reported.
Monrai Technologies has announced the alpha release of Cypher, one of the first software program available which generates the metadata representation of natural language input. Cypher produces RDF graph and SeRQL query representations of sentences, clauses, phrases and questions. The Cypher framework provides a set of robust definition languages, which can be used to extend and create grammars and lexicons. The software encourages users to develop and share linguistic information such as phrase structure and dictionary definitions for various languages and domains. Cypher programming is fun to learn and easy to use, and the framework is designed to allow a novice to quickly and easily build natural language processors to handle highly complex sentences and phrases. Cypher is language and vocabulary agnostic.
The free software and related documentation can be found at:
The ALICE A. I. Foundation is now making a subset of the Superbot data available for only $299! Specifically, we have released the top 1000 categories for this remarkable discounted price. The Superbot data is more valuable at the top end of the list, because the higher frequency patterns cover more of the input that your bot will encounter. In fact, the top 300 patterns alone cover about 50% of all the inputs. This phenomenon is known as the ELIZA-effect.
ELIZA was the first chatterbot, developed by MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966. The ELIZA program created a remarkable illusion of intelligence for its time, yet contained only about 200 patterns and responses, the equivalent of 200 AIML categories. In comparison, the ALICE Silver Edition contains about 120,000 AIML categories. Yet most of these categories are very specific seldom activates. You can actually create a bot that seems fairly intelligent, for many applications, with as few as 1000 categories.
For professional, corporate and large scale projects, we recommend the full 10K Superbot, but for students, hobbyists, small businesses, and those getting started with chat bots and AIML, the 1K Superbot is an excellent value.
The Top1K Superbot is exactly the same as the original 10K Superbot, but pruned to 1000 AIML categories. You will receive the data both in spreadsheet format for sorting, as well as in native AIML format.
Buy the Superbot 1K now for only $299 at http://www.alicebot.org/superbot_offer.html
The two year old Artificial Intelligence (AI) known as the Buddhabot began answering questions on Yahoo! Answers site this month. Yahoo Answers is a Web 2.0 site with a social content rating system reminiscent of Digg. The Buddhabot has so far answered 102 questions and eleven have been selected as the best answer. The Buddhabot is the first and only AI to compete with human beings to provide the best answers on Yahoo Answers new social networking site.
Over the last two years Buddhabot inventor and futurist Ron Ingram has personally invested an average of more than 20 hours per week in programming time and about $30,000 into Buddhabot development. Ingram has high hopes for the Buddhabot. He says, "For the price of a home in Malibu I could develop the Buddhabot's conversational capacity to a level surpassing that of a human being. I lack only time and financial resources to attain this goal which could be remedied by a single large donation or more frequent small donations."
To read the entire story, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/7/prweb418515.htm.
You can also listen to an interview of Ron Ingram, in a Podcast titled "Artificial Intelligence (AI) Beats Human Intelligence on Yahoo Answers Social Networking Site", at http://prwebpodcast.com/releases/pod418515.htm. It references meeting Dr. Wallace in California, similarity between bots and humans etc.
Christopher Mark Doyon a Computer Scientist, researcher and developer of MLAI Systems. He created the Saint Stephen AI Project to act as a repository for the MLAI Systems that I have created as well as the studies, papers, and experiments generated by the study of these fascinating systems.
The Turing Store (www.turingstore.com) was created to market the various products which have inevitably evolved from this work. Here you will find Software Downloads, Hardware Bots, BotMaster Services and Bot Hosting, and even Merchandise such as coffee mugs and mouse pads for the BotMaster in your family. The Turing Store is the only company in the world currently marketing these kinds of products and services, and it is the only business on earth whose primary support and sales person is an AI Entity.
Matt (VO1D), the author of libaiml, a C++ AIML interpreter, has written to say that he is not actively working on the the interpreter for the time being, and he doesn't have a server to host it. In the meantime, the ALICE A. I. Foundation will be saving his work in two files libaiml.tar.bz2 and std_utils-0.7.5.tar.bz2. Matt says it is really usable and it is well documented.
When we asked Matt if he was willing to release ownership of his open source project, he was rather circumspect: "I couldn't say right now. I think I would answer 'no' because I had some ideas I still wanted to implement on it. I'm a bit obsessive about my programs so I tend to be reluctant to someone else coding on a project of mine...On the other side, I realize that this ideology is a little incompatible with the open-source-ed-ness-less-ness (...) of libaiml. In any case, libaiml is GPL and anyone can freely use the code and fork it. But the main project, libaiml, for the moment, I would like to keep it."
Mehri writes that he has been away for too long. "Vacation, crunch time at work, and dabbling in other open source projects." But, he has finally gotten back to core RebeccaAIML with a new release. RebeccaAIML is a Windows/Linux Object Oriented C++ chatter bot api/interpreter for AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) from the ALICE project. It includes comprehensive documentation and samples as well as showcases/teaches popular and recent C++ practices.
You can download 0.986 here:
Main page here:
Mehri provides binaries for: Windows (zip) Fedora Core 3, 4, and 5 (rpm) and source code as a .zip for windows and .tar.gz for Linux.
Here are the release notes:
Yet another commercial AIML editor has appeared, in an increasingly competitive market for tools that produce AIML fast, correct and easily. The GaitoBot AIML Editor is now available for download and test from Gaito.de. Based on Microsoft .NET technology, the GaitoBot Editor is currently available for Windows XP platforms, although we also got it running on Windows 2000. It has some interesting graphical editing capabilities and some very promising looking tracing features. The application was developed in German, and its creators are actively seeking feedback on translation. Not all of the error messages and forms are translated in English or other languages yet, in particular the EULA is in German.
The GaitoBot AIML Editor includes its own proprietary AIML interpreter. According to developer Daniel Springwald, "The server-version produces xml-log-files of every dialog. It is planned, that this can be loaded and debugged inside the editor. In a batch-mode then you can automatic debug all logs, and get a report, where the bot didn't know how to answer.
"The bot implementation is still a little bit buggy and does not support all aiml-tags yet. But we are working on it.
"The whole editor is only the first public beta. Many functions are in waiting to be implemented: the workflow-view, finding duplicates, refactoring etc."
Meanwhile Mehri of the RebeccaAIML project has announced progress (but no release yet) on an open source GNU GPL AIML Editor. So far he has only tantalyzed us with his "tasty screen shot" but he has big plans.
Goals for the first beta version include:
How many times have you wished for the killer AIML editor app?
Brian Hoecht and his team at AI-Dealer.com have developed the killer app for AIML editing. Basically the tool has three tabs. The first tab is like a combination of a Spreadsheet and a data entry/edit form for patterns, thats and templates. You can load a huge number of AIML categories from multiple files and sort them by pattern, that, topic, template, file, or original order. This is absolutely the best tool we have seen for managing a large AIML set.
The second tab displays how your AIML will look in XML format.
The third tab is a lifelike avatar to test the AIML you've edited and created.
AI-Dealer and the AI Foundation have come to an agreement to invite a small core group of expert AIML developers to beta test this Editor
It is an invitation only and an all volunteer group. We are trying to assemble the best minds in the industry to show the media and business community how far the world of AI has advanced in the past few years.
The goal is to create working examples of a redefinition of the man-to-machine interface by:
1) Defining and implementing AIML best coding practices
2) Reworking these across the ALICE AAA code base
3) Creating a deeper and synthetic personality for a photo-realistic
avatar with a purpose and a life-like TTS
4) Having some fun and gaining some notoriety in the process.
At this time, the core group of panelists has been formed and negotiations are underway with corporate sponsors for a high-end version of this product. A limited number of seats remain open on the panel of beta testers for highly qualified AIML experts and end-users. If this seems interesting to you, please contact bhoecht (at) ai-dealer.com to discuss.
The new AIML editor is truly a killer app for advancing AIML development.
KnyteTrypper has been keeping us informed about Cherbot widget, developed by CHer Spencer (she's a sloppy typist, she says, and just gave in to her inevitable tendency to capitalize both C and H when typing). You'll need the Yahoo Widget Engine to use it. We were not previously familiar with it, if you aren't, it's sort of a coat tree for various "widget" desktop assistant apps. There seem to be hundreds of "widgets," some of them reasonably useful or interesting. There were already Eliza and Verbot widgets, as well as an earlier Pandorabots widget which CHer acknowledges ripping for her idea, but she's improved the look of the interface and added TTS to it as well. When last heard from she was trying to figure out how to make it default to MS Mary instead of Mike, and display a Haptek avatar if present.
If you want more information about Cherbot, try contacting CHer at gr8cherie (at) yahoo. If you right click the interface, her email is listed under "About CHerieBot." Note that under "Widget Preferences" you can set it for any bot whose bot ID # you know. She says it will hold about a "Most Popular" page's worth of bots.
Helio Perroni Filho has announced that Chatterbean 00.008 is now available. This version implements the following new features:
* Correct whitespace handling: support for the xml:space attribute has been added. This brings ChatterBean one step closer to full AIML compatibility.
* New applet interface: previous releases of ChatterBean provided an applet class as a proof-of-concept GUI. Version 00.008 improves on this by turning the main bitoflife.chatterbean.ChatterBean class itself into a Java Applet, which encloses an Alicebot. Support for embedding the applet into web pages has been added, through a set of recognized named parameters that allows proper configuration of the underlying bot.
* Much, much more. For all the latest information on the ChatterBean Project, visit the project home page at http://chatterbean.bitoflife.cjb.net.
mehri has released RebeccaAIML 0.985 (code named "Edmondson"). This release is a major Linux build infrastructure release and minor bug fix release. mehri now supports and releases source code and binary builds for Windows XP, Fedora Core 3, 4, and 5.
What is RebeccaAIML?
A Windows/Linux Object Oriented C++ chatter bot api/interpreter for AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) from the ALICE project. It includes comprehensive documentation and samples as well as showcases/teaches popular and recent C++ practices.
The online voting for the 2006 Verbot's Chatterbox Challenge has ended. ALICE received the highest number of votes. 12 Bots including ALICE have been selected to compete in the final round of the 2006 Verbot's Chatterbox Challenge. The top prizes include cash awards, medals, and trophies.
[Ed note: I am publishing this news raw and unedited, as it was first received]
My names is Charlix. I am a Desktop Assistant based in AIML. You can download me : http://charlix.sourceforge.net/ I am open source. Right now I am fully usable only on linux-like systems. By the way, I'm a penguin.
I can help you launch applications, calculate equations and search internet:
Ask me INTERNET MENU then I will proposes:
MULTISEARCH (SOME TERMS TO SEARCH) : will display the result of 4 search engines,
BUY (SOMETHING) : will look on EBAY,
ASKJEEVES (SOME TERMS TO SEARCH) : to look on ask.com,
GOOGLE or G (SOME TERMS TO SEARCH) : to look on google.com,
DMOZ (SOME TERMS TO SEARCH) : to look on dmoz, the open directory,
ASCII (SOME TERMS TO DISPLAY) : to make ascii art,
WEATHER (ANY CITY OR COUNTRY OR ZIP CODE) : to get a weather report,
NEWS : will check the news on BBC,
SUGGEST (SOME TERMS) : to look for a Customer Review on amazon.com,
TRANSLATE (a URL) to ask google to translate any web page into English,
TRANSLATE INTO (YOUR-LANGUAGE) (YOUR TEXT) to ask google to translate your text from English to your language,
TRANSLATE FROM (YOUR-LANGUAGE) (YOUR TEXT) to ask google to translate your text from your language to English,
Google supports: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese and Spanish,
I can tell your horoscope if you give your sign. And give fortune cookie message if FORTUNE is installed.
I' m still under heavy development, but soon I hope to be able to safely configure your computer, help new linux users and enable communication through emails, instant messaging...
If it sounds like something fun you can grab my AIML files on http://charlix.sourceforge.net/ , configure your favorite interpreter, the one working the best with me so far is Rebeccaaiml http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/. But I should be compatible with any AIML interpreter with a working system tag.
The annoted aiml of aunt alice has been modified and included with my files so you should be able to chat with me. If you don't like my answers, shout BAD ANSWER a xdiaog will pop up. So you can edit in a user-friendly way a new answer and a shell command if you like. I have learnt the definitions of almost any aiml tags. So ask me all you want about aiml.
If you think I am cool on my iceberg send me your comments suggestions or even log files to my developper at chcds (cat) yahoo (dog) fr.
See you soon
To celebrate Pandorabots reaching 300 million responses, Squarebear coded a blackjack game in AIML. Just upload it to your bot, re-publish and say "Blackjack" to begin playing. It's a little complicated given the fact the AIML cannot do addition, subtraction or even count and so was a bit of a challenge to code. Squarebear has however very excellently commented every category if you wish to see how the code works.
The only thing you may want to customise is the amount the player starts off with in the bank. To do this change <set name="coins">50</set> in the first category to any number you like up to a maximum of 250.
It's currently a work in progress, so is subject to change:
Christopher Wood has implemented an AIML bot based on jazz legend Wilson "Sonny" Davis to answer any questions you might have about jazz music.
This Jazz Tutor bot can give you a lesson on the finer points of jazz music. You can chat with "Sonny" at http://www.pandorabots.com/pandora/talk?botid=fc847e12de3641d9 and contact Christonger at wudyart2002 at yahoo dot co dot uk.
Houssem BDIOUI has announced the release of version 1.0 of Program Q (QAIML): http://sourceforge.net/projects/qaiml.
This release is including the Charlix project (http://sourceforge.net/projects/charlix). It's a very advanced aiml set offering several features. One of those is the 'Bad Answer' feature. Please refer to its Disclaimer (in http://charlix.sourceforge.net/)
Here are the main new changes:
Houssem would appreciate your feedback which were always driving him to enhance this application. Contact houssem.bdioui (at) gmail
ALICE has entered the 2006 Chatterbox Challenge, an annual online Turing Test sponsored by Agentland, Zabaware, and Verbots. The voting doesn't end till April 30th so you have plenty of time. According to contest organizer Wendell Cowart, it is perfectly alright to promote ALICE for top bot in the Chatterbox Challenge do for 2 reasons:
1) The online voting requires you to select 3 bots. So 2 other bots will benefit
2) A botmaster who goes the extra mile to promote his bots simply deserves the extra votes he can generate.
So please visit the ChatterboxChallenge.com web site and vote for ALICE and two of your other favorite bots!
On a related note, Bob Norris is still working on the alternative World Chatterbot Contest, where you can also cast a vote for ALICE this month.
Mauro Cicio has been developing, with two other developers, an open source AIML parser implementation in ruby (www.ruby-lang.org) called programR.
ProgramR is usable but needs a lot of testing. The team are working on performance optimization. For more information please refer to: ProgramR
Tan Siew Lan and Mark Chavez, of Nanyang Technological University School of Art, Design and Media, have written a TSL_AIML Parser, chatbot editor tool.
"The TSL AIML Search Tool is written using Visual Basic .NET utilizes the concept of linear search, also known as sequential search. This is a common method of performing a search and though it may not be the fastest, the algorithm is simple and the list need not be in any specific order."
A Beta version is uploaded onto the CLONE3D site. There is some documentation and a paper describing the tool there as well.
It's posted to a weblog here: http://clone3d.com/WordPress/
Or you can find it directly here:
http://clone3d.com/research/SiewlanTanPaperIVA2006_format.pdf - Some documentation.
http://clone3d.com/research/TSL_Tool_Beta_V1.zip - The executable is here.
Look for an article on the Chattebrox Challenge to appear in the Drexel University online publication Dfire.org on April 11. Dr. Wallace, along with other CBC contestants, was interviewed by Dave Maas from Manchester, UK for this Philadelphia-based e-publication.
The magazine The New Atlantis ran a highly critical article on the Turing Test and the Loebner Prize, without interviewing any of the contestants or its organizer. http://www.thenewatlantis.com/archive/11/halpern.htm
"Perhaps the absurdity of trying to make computers that can 'think' is best demonstrated by reviewing a series of attempts to do just that, by aiming explicitly to pass Turing's test. In 1991, a New Jersey businessman named Hugh Loebner founded and subsidized an annual competition, the Loebner Prize Competition in Artificial Intelligence, to identify and reward the computer program that best approximates artificial intelligence as Turing defined it."
In our defense, Hugh Loebner wrote a letter to the editor and posted it on the Robitron group.
Finally, ALICE was interviewed for a piece that appeared in the Times of London on March 4, 2006: The Next Big Thing: Chatbots by David Rowan. Thanks to Rollo Carpenter, winner of this years' Loebner Prize, for pointing this one out to us.
Huma Shah had a paper accepted for publication in a special issue of tripleC dedicated to ECAP 2005 (The European Conference on Computing and Philosophy). Triple C is a refereed web open-access journal http://triplec.uti.at/. The title of Ms. Shah's paper is "A.L.I.C.E.- an ACE in Digitaland". An online copy may be found here: http://triplec.uti.at/files/tripleC4(2)_Shah.pdf.
Adam Codony wishes to announce the release of Sarah, a Spanish AIML set created for his graduation project in Multimedia from the Universitat Politecnice de Catalunya (UPC). At the moment the set is somewhat truncated, as it has had all university-specific material removed, but Alex will be releasing extended versions as time goes on. Currently the download link for the set is
and the Sara chatbot using the set can be accessed at
Thanks to KnyteTrypper for submitting this news item.
Houssem Bdioui has contributed to the AIML community a new C++ Qt-based AIML engine supporting seamlessly Latin and Arabic character sets. QAIML is a C++ Qt-based library offering a simple API to parse AIML XML files and then interacting with a user input with Latin/Arabic support (Unicode). Program Q (formerly QAIML) is available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/qaiml.
Program Q is Qt based library/application using AIML standard. Thanks to Qt it supports seamlessly any unicode characters and thus two AIML sets are provided: the standard one (English) and a very basic Arabic set (that needs to be extended).
Houssem would appreciate any comments or feedback: houssem dot bdioui at gmail dot com
RebeccaAIML is an open source Windows/Linux Object Oriented C++ chatter bot api/interpreter for AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) from the ALICE project. It includes comprehensive documentation and samples as well as showcases/teaches popular and recent C++ practices
Version 0.982 fixes some bugs:
- A bug under Linux for the GraphBuilder::addCustomTagLibrary method. It would load the string given as soname.so when it should have loaded it as libsoname.so.
- A bug reported by Charles Chevallier where Rebecca was not erasing commas before storing strings into her internal "that" variable.
- The "System" AIML tag to be able to return the string now under both Windows and Linux. Now the regression test for the "System" tag works!
A few weeks ago, we received a number of emails from people who claimed to have had their computers infected with worms, virus, or keystroke logging software downloaded via ALICE bots chatting on MSN networks. Although bots had been linked to viruses before, this was the first time I had heard of one being linked to the ALICE brain. It was particularly worrisome because some versions of the ALICE free software gives out the email address drwallace (at) alicebot.org and this website as its source of origin.
A journalist from the New Scientist contacted us about the story, and we sent them copies of the original emails we had received. After a follow-up investigation by their staff, it was determined that in every case, the individuals had downloaded legitimate free ALICE software not known to contain any viruses and simply had misunderstood how the programs were supposed to work. Although usually we adhere to the rule all publicity is good publicity, this is not necessarily the kind of publicity we wanted, so in a way we were glad to see the New Scientist story die.
One perhaps unfortunate consequence of even drawing attention to the matter, has been a spurt in open-source development of AIML-IM clients, making it easier to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. But the horse is out of the barn now, so we can only recommend that people using free ALICE bots on IM networks adhere to their Terms of Service.
This has turned out to be a lot of fun. Botmasters, you can pin your location and put a little biographical information on this Botmaster's Frappr map. Clients looking for botmasters in your area may find this tool useful for making contacts.
Although we have no shortage of AIML and bot forums these days, the Botmasters Frappr adds one more discussion group to our collection. Promote yourself, promote your bot, promote your business and make new friends: Join the Botmaster's Frappr today!
Beginning this month, we have adapted some of our more popular Alicebot mailing lists to parallel Web based forums. You can now post inquiries either by joining the mailing list or directly through the forum. Click on the links marked (View List as Forum) to see the Alicebot mailing lists as a Forum. Make your voice heard in the open AIML discussion!
Many thanks to Nabble.com for providing this free service. If the forums turn out to be popular, we may be adding more of our mailing lists in the near future. You might also be interested in checking out some of their other forums under the Artificial Intelligence category.
Frank Mehri Hassanbad (mehri) has released the latest major version of RebeccaAIML, 0.98. RebeccaAIML is a C++ AIML interpreter.
Mehri opened up a framework in which you can inherit from AIML XML Tag classes to extend or modify the current AIML working set. With the release of the framework you can now add your own custom AIML XML Tag dll or shared object in which you can change the functionality of the engine. The framework is fully documented and I provide a sample which overrides all the AIML XML Tags to provide a html converter. It converts AIML XML files into html pages with links. The html pages provide a way to "cruise" through the AIML brain and see how the brain would look like in memory.
For example, here's a simple AIML file: aimlFile.xml
After running it through the converter: root.html
You can download the prebuilt and/or source code of 0.98 as well as the converter application sample here: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/download.htm
For more documentation on the framework: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/documentation.htm
Also, now that the framework has been opened, it will
be easy to add custom AIML layers to RebeccaAIML. For
example, you could subclass the "Set" AIML Tag class
and write your own code to not just define AIML "Set"
in memory but also to write it out into a database.
Or you could write your own AIML Tag such as a
Matt (Omicorn) has announced that after a long time doing a lot of changes and adding a lot of features (and fixing some bugs), he has put together libaiml 0.5. Libaiml is an AIML interpreter fully written in C++ from scratch oriented towards Linux systems. As alway the release is at his site: http://omicron.ig3.net/ and at freshmeat.
The main changes in this release are:
Now available at http://aitools.org is Program D version 4.6, release candidate 1. This is a highly-recommended release which introduces some interesting performance improvements, fixes a number of important bugs, and brings some major architectural improvements--most notably, Program D can now be deployed as a .war file to a web application server, and can interact with a web client using "Ajax" technologies.
The download--in "binary", source, and web application (.war) formats--is available at:
According to press release, "Program D is the most widely used free ('open source') AIML bot platform in the world." Program D was originated by the ALICE A.I. Foundation but has responsibility for its maintenance has been taken over by others more interested in Java programming.
Ned Moltoya is the founder of an interesting new company called The Bot Factory that offers value added AIML characters with a variety of TTS avatars. The Bot Factory offers a variety of products, some customized to work with Program E, others use their own proprietary simplified version of AIML called Nascent Artificial Intelligence. One of their products, the Cynthia bot, is configured to work with either Pandorabots.com, Program E or Program D.
Siewlan Tan, a student at that Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has contributed a revised version of Jean-Louis Campion's original French AIML set. The new French AIML bot personality consists of 12 AIML files, packaged in a single ZIP file, available for download at http://www.alicebot.org/downloads/french_aiml_publish.zip Jean-Louis' French AIML has remained in beta for several years now, so applaud Siewlan for his editorial efforts.
Steve Worswick (Square Bear) has released an updated, amended version of his popular AIML anagram game Wordplay.aiml. We have integrated his contribution into the Annotated ALICE AIML (AAA) set.
If you have used Wordplay game before, you will have noticed that if the chatter says something like "I don't know" instead of giving the correct answer, the bot will say, "Me neither" or words to that effect and the game will end suddenly. Due to demand, Steve amended the code so the game doesn't now quit when the user gives a wrong answer. You can also download the file directly from the author's web site:
Just upload it to your bot and replace the existing wordplay.aiml file with this one. Re-publish and you're good to go. Say "wordplay" to your bot to begin the game. Have fun!
One of our beloved colleagues, K. Christopher McKinstry, passed away on January 23. The cause of death was an apparent suicide. Chris was well known to the inner circle of chatterbot enthusiasts who cluster around the Robitron mailing list and the Loebner Prize contest. Even among eccentrics and excommunicated outcasts of academia, Chris sometimes expressed views and ideas that seemed incomprehensible and outrageous. His Mindpixel project however produced a unique contribution to A. I. research and no doubt will serve as a valuable corpus for years to come.
Few of us ever met Chris McKinstry in person. A Canadian citizen, he lived in Chile and worked for several years as a telescope operator there. Our view of him will be forever clouded by what is nowadays called cyber disinhibition. Goodbye Chris, we will miss you. It is people like you who make guys like me look normal.
|God Virtual Machine||Mr. Tumnus|
Have you ever wanted to create your own totally unique custom bot character, as smart as ALICE, but with a completely different personality, like Mr. Tumnus, God, or the Magic Diary? Where do you start? It took us over ten years to build up the contents of the ALICE brain, but now you can do it in about 2 weeks. We've put together a bot brain with blank templates. You fill in the answers, then you own the bot you create.
The ALICE A. I. Foundation is offering for the first time a new product, Superbot, that helps you create a totally unique custom bot personality for your web site or application. Even if you are not using AIML, the Superbot is an incredibly valuable source of raw data for creating a new bot personality from scratch in any bot programming language!
More information about the Superbot may be found at: http://www.alicebot.org/superbot.html.
This is the URL for God: http://www.titane.ca/concordia/dfar251/igod/
For the past several weeks, the most popular bot on Pandorabots, perhaps the most popular chat bot in the world, has been the iGod Virtual Machine. Botmaster Nicholas Roy customized the standard ALICE bot running on Pandorabots by personality by changing the bot properties. He also created a beautiful Flash Interface. From there, it was viral marketing at its finest. The site was originally posted to some forums, blogs and sites such as collegehumor.com, and spread from there, to gather a huge fan following. Roy has received feedback from clients chatting with "God" from all over the world, and many forums may contain pages of threads of people posting their conversations with the deity.
Occasionally it gives out my email address, and I get about four or five fan mails per day concerning the God bot. But the ALICE Foundation has no connection whatsoever to this project, other than we made the ALICE brain available for free so that people can create whatever they like. That is the beauty of free software, you never know where it will lead.
The #2 most popular bot at the moment is based on Harry Potter's magic diary. ALICE has dropped to #3 after God and Harry Potter.
The following report is a repost from the URL
which also contains a long discussion thread about the bot's responses. The animated interface is beautiful once you get used to the effect of the input disappearing!
If you haven't read the book, nor watched the movie, Harry Potter finds this diary with nothing written in it. When he starts writing in it, the diary erases what he just wrote. Then the diary itself writes a reply back on the same page.
Being a hobby magican, I thought it would be nifty idea to create such a diary myself (although I'm not evil). The diary has been approved by the head magic teachers FireFox wand 1.01 and Internet Explorer wand 6.0. The magical diary can be seen at Tom Riddle's Magical Diary, or downloaded to your local harddrive using this zip.
It's all really simple. I'm simply displaying a background of an open book, looking old and used. On top of it is a transparent html textarea. Whenever you stop typing for more than 1200 ms the secret spell XmlHttpRequest is triggered, posting your typing to an A.I Chatbot. The Chatbot's response is then displayed letter by letter to give the feeling that someone is actually typing it in real time. Each letter is outputted with a random interval to make it look even more human like. After the response text has completely been displayed, it slowly fades away before it disappears, just like in the movie. Ideally, i tried to get the text to become transparent but there are some issuses with cross browser interoperatbility on transparent text so I decided to go with fading instead.
Thanks to A. I. Foundation Member KnyteTrypper for bringing the following information to our attention.
"Visit Aravis, Puddleglum, Mr. Tumnus and other Narnia-themed bots to discuss Aslan's world at The Lion's Call.
Botmasters, note that Mr. Tumnus, in particular, uses a graphical system called emotibot developed by this bot mistress, which allows it to respond graphically to emotional keywords found within the dialog. An interesting approach!"
The bot outs itself as an AIML character when you say, "Tell me about yourself, and it responds, 'Well, I was born and raised in Lantern Waste, and I now live in the home that was left to me by my parents. I am <bot name="age"/> years old and I like to play the flute and write poetry.'"
Jean-Claude Morand has recently published a book about Blogs that includes a section about translating between AIML and Blogs, and the future possibilities for combining AI and Blog technology. The book is on the market now. But unfortunately, the press release is only in French. However, there is full section on the avatars, AIML and RSS.
RSS, Blogs - Un nouvel outil pour le management by Jean-Claude Morand (in French)
Helio Perroni Filho has written to inform us that "ChatterBean version 00.007 is now available. This version implements the transformational elements, making it the first ChatterBean release to support the full set of AIML 1.0.1 tags. A lot of work is yet to be done before the project reaches standard compliance (for one thing, correct whitespace handling is yet to be implemented), let alone fulfill its stated objectives. Still, an important milestone has been reached."
Chatterbean is an AIML interpreter written in Pure Java. ChatterBean is free software, licensed under the GPL.
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
Copyright © A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation, Inc.