November 28, 2007
Thanks to some members of the Pandorabots community, we have some news about Pandorabots in Second Life.
Destiny Niles found these Pandorabots in SL:
http://www.sparticarroll.com/Pandora+Chatbot.ashx http://artfossett.blogspot.com/2007/07/pandorabot-npc.html http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eduserv%20Island/140/127/26 http://slurl.com/secondlife/Buena%20Vista/146/191/28
Marcus L. Endicott revised our earlier Second Life Round-Up
He said he could not find any Metaversetech or Navillus Batra products at what appears to be now http://shop.onrez.com/, and http://www.metaversetech.com/ seems to have gone underground.
A search of shop.onrez.com for "pandorabots" did reveal three further resources:
Pandorabot Client Kit v1.4.0:
shop.onrez.com: (CGe) ChatBOT:
shop.onrez.com: Eliza Doolittle Chatbot:
Marcus is trying to keep an informal resource list at:
You can often find Second Life bots on the Pandorabots Most Popular list. Try asking the bots, "Where are you?" to see if you get a response indicating that they are in Second Life.
November 28, 2007
The Loebner Prize cash award for winning the annual bronze medal in 2008 will be $3000, with no "consolation" awards of $250.
Prize sponsor Hugh Loebner said he added the $250 awards to defray travel costs when he added the requirement that finalists be present at the competition. Finalists will NOT have to present for the 2008 competition, so he added the money to sweeten the pot.
Another concern, Loebner said, was the plunge of the U.S. dollar.
November 23, 2007
Pandorabots fixed a long standing bug in the system. Log in to Pandorabots and select one of your bots. For example, if you have a bot named ALICE, choose ALICE from the list of My Pandorabots. Then navigate to the AIML section. You now see a web page called ALICE >> AIML files. Pandorabots organizes the AIML files in a table. The second column is called Categories. Previously, the data in the Categories column was all zero. The bug fixed, Pandorabots now correctly displays the number of AIML categories in each file.
November 20, 2008
Dr. Hugh Loebner and Professor Kevin Warwick have announced that the 18th annual Loebner Prize Competition, Loebner Prize 2008, will be held on Oct. 12, 2008 at the University of Reading, Reading, UK.
Professor Warwick will be directing the contest, and all questions regarding the contest, including rules, communications protocols, and judging procedures should be directed to Professor Warwick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Warwick is Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, UK, http://www.kevinwarwick.com/.
November 13, 2007
Several people have asked about the relationship between OWL, RDF and AIML. We came across this paper, Enhancing AIML Bots using Semantic Web Technologies, by Eric Freese: http://www.idealliance.org/papers/extreme/proceedings/html/2007/Freese01/EML2007Freese01.html. The relevant idea being you do your OWL-DL logic in RDF and then convert the resulting RDF Graph to AIML when you're done. From the abstract:
This paper discusses a methodology and provides examples of the conversion of RDF triples to AIML topics and categories which can then be used within an AIML-based bot. The statements representing the domain knowledge can then be used in a conversation handled by the responder. The combination of these two technologies allows the knowledge represented within the RDF to be accessed interactively using natural language by a human user.
October 30, 2007
Perl programmer Chris Prather created Gir, a new Pandorabot based on the free AAA AIML Set, and put it on a couple of IRC channels. The Gir brain, which combines the AAA set with Chris' own custom AIML, provides natural language responses for two of Chris' bots, Bender and Pip. Due to intense IRC traffic, the Gir bot reached the #1 spot on the Pandorabots Most Popular list.
Chris Prather's long-term project is a bot named Bender. Chris developed his own Net::AIML package for Perl http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Net::AIML, which makes a connection to Pandorabots. In one incarnation Gir provides fallback conversational abilities for Bender. Gir is also the brains behind his more recent bot Pip, which uses Net::AIML and Acme::LOLCAT, http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Acme::LOLCAT. LOLCAT transforms English sentences into amusing, idiosyncratic, bad English. For more information on LOLCAT see Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolcat.
Bender and Pip sit on about a dozen channels on three IRC networks (#swhack on freenode, several channels on irc.perl.org, and two channels on a private IRC server). The IRC traffic through Net::AIML is driving Gir to the #1 spot on Pandorabots.
Chris says, "Piping the AIML response through LOLCAT made for a more believable character as the naive responses that the bot would make were easily attributed to the 'ethos' of the LOLCAT character."
October 28, 2007
The A. I. Foundation has created a special Santa Claus bot for the holidays. The Santa bot is based on the Superbot and has a totally unique, new personality tailored to old Saint Nick. The bot brain has no overlap with the A.L.I.C.E. bot. Santa is totally kid-safe and fun for the whole family. For now Santa is free. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Have a chat with Santa at http://alicebot.org/Santa/.
Our Santa bot uses an Oddcast/Sitepal avatar with text-to-speech.
Santa bot is still learning. The more you chat with him, the smarter he will become.
Hugh Loebner has announced that the Loebner Prize 2008 will almost certainly be held at University of Reading, Reading, England on Oct 12. in conjunction with a computer conference to be held there at the same time. The announcement is still unofficial because he does not speak for U of Reading. Professor Kevin Warwick is working with Huma Shah on this, and Loebner says he will be making an announcement soon.
There are a few details which have yet to be decided. Loebner has asked for public comment.
1. Must the contestants be on site during the contest?
2. Dates for applications, selection, etc. If the contestants do not need to be on site, then it is possible that the selection process for the finals can be part of the conference, perhaps the day before the contest.
3. Whether the Loebner Prize Protocol used in the 2006 and 2007 contests will be required in 2008.
The official announcement for the 2008 competition with rules, will be made no later than Nov 15, 2007.
Human nurses can have peace of mind. Their jobs are secure, but Santa's little helper has come to the rescue to do most of the boring nursing tasks for them. Robot-Nurse helps nurses in hospitals. Her body is developed by Samsung and her brain by Robot-Hosting.com. The Nursing school and the psychology departments of the University of Auckland are creating her nurse knowledge base. She has a camera for face recognition, a microphone for voice recognition, arms and hands. She talks though a speaker with the Patients, Doctors and Nurses in 8 human languages.
Her brain will be centrally controlled by several global server clusters. She will guard the wards at night and attend the patients; therefore human nurses can sleep with peace of mind. She can do logical reasoning and delivers doctor's prescribed drugs for patients and remind them about their daily exercise routine.
She also stands there and pushes them (verbally) to do their exercise and acts as a couch and builds their enthusiasm.
Version one can not change the bedpans, she is too small for that task, but a few years later the next version will be able to do more physical activities, but actually the present version does not have biological growth mechanisms like us.
Another one of her responsibilities is talking with those patients who do not have any visitors to keep their company, tell them some jokes or just carry the conversation to make them happy. Therefore they will not feel lonely. Decades of efforts and work of Dr. Wallace and all scientists and programmers who contributed to the Alice project is used in her natural language processing unit, among many other developed algorithms and sub-systems. For more information, visit Robot-Hosting.com.
Hugh Loebner announced the results of the 2007 competition today (10/21/07). He said transcripts are not yet available, but he will post them eventually.
Winner - Robert Medeksza
2nd Noah Duncan
3rd Rollo Carpenter
Congratulations to Robert Medeksza! He certainly deserves it. He's been working on AI bots as long as any of us. For anyone who doesn't know, Robert is the creator of the famous UltraHal bot at www.zabaware.com.
We would like to welcome Robert to the pool of Loebner Prize winners.
The Loebner Prize is an annual Turing Test competition sponsored by philanthropist Dr. Hugh Loebner. More information available at www.loebner.net/Prizef/loebner-prize.html. ALICE is a three-time winner of the Loebner bronze medal and cash prize.
Update: Vladimir Veselov has posted photos from the events at: http://www.veselov.net/modules/xcgal/thumbnails.php?album=14
The A. I. Foundation has released its own version of the highly successful AIML God bot originally created by Nicolas Roy. The God bot started as a clone of ALICE running on Pandorabots. Nicolas added some very nice Flash animation on the front-end. The God bot is consistently one of the most popular bots on Pandorabots. Intended to be humorous and fun, the God bot is not affiliated with any religion.
Chat with the God bot at http://alicebot.org/igod.
I created a long-overdue blog version of the ALICE A. I. Foundation News. I am just getting started with blogging and welcome your suggestions and feedback. The Alicebot blog is an aggregator of news stories, press releases, and announcements related to ALICE and AIML free software technology. You can check it out at alicebot.blogspot.com.
Hugh Loebner announced that the finalists for Loebner Prize 2007 are:
(a) Rollo Carpenter - (Icogno Ltd.)
(b) George Medeksza - (Zabaware)
(c) Noah Duncan. (self)
There were no other entries this year, in the annual contest billed as the first real-world Turing Test. Due to technical issues ALICE, the contest winner in 2000, 2001 and 2004, was not entered in this years' competition. It seems that many others stayed away as well. The contest will be held on October 21 at Loebner's apartment in New York City.
Charles Chevallier has announced that Charlix is back with a new release. Charlix is a desktop assistant. He is based in AIML from the implementation of Dr. Richard S. Wallace's A.L.I.C.E. system.
Following an old suggestion from Mehri (RebeccaAIML developer http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/) he added many scripts for new Linux users to install Java, Acrobat reader, torrent clients, plugins for Firefox, file sharing software, USB gamepads, Microsoft fonts, drivers for MP3 and DVD, MIDI capabilities, Skype, and plenty of software for Debian distributions. It can turn DMA on or turn numlock on. It includes warnings on security and legal issues.
He also included math.aiml that KnyteTrypper posted on this list, which he modified for Linux shell commands. Charles gives credit to the late KnyteTrypper because his forum http://knytetrypper.proboards19.com/index.cgi helped him a lot to produce his Pandorabot demo.
He also added misspelled.aiml and repetition.aiml based on Wikipedia's list of most common repetitions and mistakes.
Download Charlix free at http://charlix.sourceforge.net/
Frank Mehri Hassanbad (mehri) has released the latest major version of RebeccaAIML, codenamed Slatter. Version 1.1tp1 was released in August, followed shortly thereafter by 1.1tp2 and 1.1tp3 in September. RebeccaAIML is an enterprise cross platform open source AIML development platform. RebeccaAIML supports C++, Java, C#, and Python as well as many other programming languages and AIML development out of the box. RebeccaAIML also comes with an array of AIML administration tools, great documentation, and an eclipse AIML editor plugin.
Check out the main page: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/index.htm
Check out the user guide for plenty of screen shots of this tech release and instructions on upgrading: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/userGuide.htm
And finally, download it and give it a try: http://rebecca-aiml.sourceforge.net/download.htm
Some of the new features in the Slatter release include:
Christian Drossmann, the author of German.aiml, has re-emerged on our mailing list and brought us up to date on his life. He says he has been lurking on the Alicebot mailing lists for some time. Christian says that his address email@example.com has fallen into disuse some time ago due to excessive spamming. His requests that we contact him through his website via mail at drossmann dot de.
Furthermore, because he continues receive email about Alice, Christian decided to put up a page again with some info in German. There are a lot of bots out there, including bots for messageboards etc. that are based on the old German.aiml. The new side for German AIML is www.drossmann.de. Christian says, "Maybe there *will* be an updated version...who knows? Sometimes I miss the coding ;-)"
Steve Worswick (Square Bear - http://www.mitsuku.com) has written an AIML file that will educate your bot in the different currencies of the world. He wants to share it with all AIML botmasters: http://www.square-bear.co.uk/aiml/currency.aiml.
Monica Peters developed AIML bots to preserve some north American Endangered Languages. She has now released the AIML as free open source software. They can be used "as is" and also as templates to build on. Endangered Language AIML Sets are free to download from AILegacy.Org:
The Endangered Language set includes Mohawk, Kanienkeha, Seneca, Shoshoni, Tuscarora, Blackfoot, Haida, Inuktitut, Kwakwala, Lakota, and Mahikan.
Monica Peters also offers endangered language AIML templates for voice recognition applications.
What happens when two award-winning A.I. chat bots get together for a chat? Drama emerges. In acting school, there is a technique called "commedie dell'arte", a form of improvisation. For example, one student might play a doctor, another a nurse, another a patient, and a fourth student will be a grieving relative. The teacher gives the directive to "act" and, between the four different characters, a drama emerges.
The same thing happens when two (or more) bots get together. In a recent issue of Discover Magazine, the editors introduce ALICE and Jabberwacky, both recent winners of the prestigious Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence. The conversations may not yet be riviting drama, but as this example shows, the two bots sometimes stay on topic for several interactions:
A: Do you dream?
J: Yes, I dream.
A: It goes without saying. Do you remember your dreams?
J: I remember them vividly.
A: What do you remember about it?
J: I think I shouldn't flirt with a robot.
You can read the full text at:
Thanks to Rollo Carpenter, who brought this story to our attention via the weblog
Contest organizer Wendell Cowart announced the results of the Chatterbox Challenge 2007. ALICE won the third place Bronze Medal. The full results are posted on the contest web site:
Congratulations to Patti Roberts for winning the Gold medal in the Chatterbox Challenge 2007 with her bot Bildgesmythe. The bot, described as a "friendly, mythical philosopher" may be found on the Personality Forge.
Though perhaps not as well known as the annual Loebner Prize Contest, the Chatterbox Challenge accepts bots of all types, website bots, downloadable bots, and chatroom bots - written in any programming language. According to their rules, the contest permits judging over the internet. Other AIML bots are allowed to enter, but they cannot use ALICE's database.
Second place went to another Personality Forge bot, Julie Tinkerbell. ALICE took third place this year, in a contest where she was previously awarded the Gold medal in 2004.
Remi (brizglace) has brought the Chatterbot Collection back to life. A directory of more than 1000 chat bots as well as related articles, web sites and software, the Chatterbot Collection is one of the best place to find out about new chat bots and bot software. Check out the Chatterbot Collection at:
The Chatterbot Collection is the most complete reference available online to the myriad to bot sites available today. The site contains a comprehensive directory of all the bots available on the web, in chat rooms, and in forums. You can also download the entire Chatterbot Collection in a zip file.
The section on Lost Chatterbots has significant historical value. There are also sections for bots on TV and bots in the movies.
Remi is always looking for new additions and corrections to the Chatterbot Collection. Contact him if you want your bot included!
Sean Beecroft, a graduate student at Sheridan College, has reported the release of his AIML Yawiki bot ( http://www.yawiki.org:2001 ). Sean was steady working on a Wiki, (Yawiki) for about a year. This was project where he re-wrote / ported Wikipedia's PHP system into Java. Working with a professor from Sheridan College, Joe Sant, Sean came up with some new concepts for the Wiki.
Sean had played with ALICE for several years, was quite familiar with AIML, and wanted to make a program based on it. About 6 months ago, he started working on a basic web crawler. The basic idea was to point the crawler at a specific set of sites, download the contents, and store a summary.
Sean realized that ALICE and AIML was a powerful, flexible system that could easily be adapted to link to / map to this stream of knowledge. At that point, all of the open source projects started to make sense and complemented each other nicely. In some ways, adding the wiki content was just the next logical step.
We enjoyed test driving the new chat bot site MyCyberTwin.com , created by John Zakos of RelevanceNow!. Like Pandorabots, MyCyberTwin allows a community of botmasters to create and host their own chat bot personalities. Unlike Pandorabots, MyCyberTwin is specifically oriented toward creating a virtual personality "clone" of the botmaster. Their clever survey technology enables the botmaster to input much of the content through a simple question-and-answer interface.
MyCyberTwin uses a personality test to select one of a set of baseline bot personalities. Your personality test results can also identify other botmasters with common traits, adding a clever online matchmaking capability to the site.
We thought we saw some familiar A.L.I.C.E. responses in the baseline personality. But according to its designer John Zakos, "MyCyberTwin is based 100% on our proprietary approach. We developed it from code base zero and all conversational content has been generated by us. There is definitely no ProgramD and no ALICE as part of MyCyberTwin."
If we wanted to find a fault with the MyCyberTwin site, we would point out that it has "no back end." In other words, there is no programming system like AIML exposed to the botmaster. Like some other bot authoring systems, the matching algorithm and the exact connection between inputs and responses remains hidden inside the custom program. "No back end" makes it impossible to predict exactly what the bot will say, which could lead to some embarassing moments for your virtual clone.
Jean-Claude Morad, Ph.D and C.E.O. Geo Deouverte Voyages, has informed us that he will present the prototype of a virtual travel agent at Geneva Book Fair from May 2nd to the 6th. The virtual agent, named MAKEDA, can reply to travel questions about Ethiopia. MAKEDA uses text-to-speech to output the replies, if you have sound enabled on your computer. Feel free to talk to her (in French) at http://ethiopie.geo-decouverte.com.
This prototype will be off line after the show as Jean-Claude will leave this company in few weeks for an unknown destination.
Are you the next Jerry Seinfeld? Our friends at Oddcast/Sitepal have developed a site for comedycentral.com where you can create your own stand-up comedian avatar. School is in session for aspiring comedians with their "Crash Course in Comedy." The promotion utilizes Oddcast's avatar technology giving users the ability to build a stand up comedy routine. They can then submit their act for possible posting in Comedy Central's online gallery.
Check it out here http://www.comedycentral.com/events/comedianconstructor/index.jhtml
There is a lot of activity around AIML and SecondLife these days. We are in the process of collecting links to all the projects. SecondLife provides its own scripting language, Linden Scripting Language (LSL), which makes possible various interfaces to AIML bots. All the work is very much in progress. We hope to have an interface through Pandorabots one of these days soon. At least two SecondLife bots on sale are already backed up by Pandorabots.
You can easily find bots or gadgets in SLBoutigue if you are registered for SecondLife.
Here is the collection of SecondLife AIML projects we have found so far:
1. Here is one project attempting to implement AIML directly in Linden Scripting Language: LindenAIML: (AIML parser written in LSL) http://sourceforge.net/projects/lindenaiml/
2. And another ALICE in SL: http://slnewbiediary.blogspot.com/2007/01/go-ask-alice.html
3. Seneca Enterprise http://www.slboutique.com/index.php?p=buy&phrase=pandorabot&n=0&itemid=141133 There is a demo bot whose shape is a black and white ball bots which listens and talks to you on channel 0. If you have Secondlife installed and have your browser knows secondlife:// MIME type simply use this map : http://slurl.com/secondlife/Minoa/9/141/101/ to teleport in.
4. Metaverse Technology (also mentioned the the
AI Foundation Newsletter last year)
Map location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Big%20Mushamush/113/237/132/ Navillus Batra (SL name) or Jacob Sullivan (RL name) at Metaverse Tech sells series of bots and modules.
Pierre Mccarragher (waterboy) created a set of utils for Program E, the AIML interpreter written in PHP. There are new utilities
Training your bot from the conversation log works like this: Select a conversation by user id. Select one to see it in detail. Select a question and answer that the bot did not do well on, and create a new aiml category for it.
These new Program E utilites are available on sourceforge:
Kevin Copple, creator of the award-winning Ella AI program, has now incorporated AIML into his technology. The Ella program was developed in the .Net framework, so Kevin was able to incorporate the Program# AIML interpreter written by Nicholas Tollervy. If you have .Net Framework 1.1 or greater on your WinXP OS, please check out the new AI.Learn Beta. Kevin hopes to put up a more detailed description of the various contributions to this project, but note the combination of Ella (VB.Net) with an Alice engine (C#). Robby Garner also made many contributions to Ella. There is also some content from David Hamill for demonstrating audio features.
Kevin says, "Every student, employee, and anyone else wishing to more efficiently learn, remember and organize information needs this program. We just need to uncork some sales magic :-)
"Check the nifty About box, gradient background, color pickers, search feature, edit screen, and much more. After all the web development, I find Windows PC app dev to be a lot of fun."
More info available from www.ellaz.com News.
We are always seeking out new Avatar technology in order to bring to life the outputs of AIML chat bots. This project appears to do an impressive job of creating realistic 3-D face models. Developed by a research lab in Germany, this software, after taking 200 3D scans of human faces, can scan a single 2D picture or photograph, and generate a very realistic 3D model. The program adjusts the parameters of the 3D model in order to find the best fit for a single 2D photograph to the model. The photograph may be any person, living or dead, or even, apparently, a painting.
View the video of the demonstration in this blog:
The demo is not yet a commercial product. It also seems to have some limitations. Specifically, the avatar does not have the ability to coordinate of lip movement with speech. But we expect rapid progress on these new lifelike avatars, which will eventually add an exciting new capability to chat bot programs.
Daniel Springwald reports continued progress on the GaitoBot AIML Editor. Many beta testers wrote to Daniel with their opinions, wishes and bug reports. Daniel is having a lot of fun seeing that people all over the world are using it.
This month Daniel has announced that there is a new update of the GaitoBot AIML Editor available online
Since the last GaitoBot announcement, Daniel has created two video tutorials to show AIML newbies how to use the editor. You can find the tutorials on the website at:
Nicholas H. Tollervy (http://ntoll.org) has completely rewritten the AIMLBot class in C#. When Nicholas wrote the original Program# was written over three years ago, it was his first project in C#.
According to Nicholas, a many people found it useful, and it was downloaded many thousands of times from his homepage. But the original Program# was slow, not completely reliable and lacking in features.
Now that he has lots of experience and knowledge of .NET under his belt, Nicholas has re-written this project from scratch to implement several modifications and improvements. These are:
Downloads, documentation, help and advice on implementing and using the library in your own projects can be found at the Sourceforge project page: http://aimlbot.sourceforge.net/
If you are like Square Bear, you find it annoying when someone says "Happy Christmas" or "Happy New Year" to your bot in the middle of July, or when they say Happy Birthday to it when it's nowhere near its birthday you may like this new AIML he wrote. It will correct the user if they get the month wrong.
Human: Happy Birthday!
Robot: You missed my birthday, it was last month on November 23.
Human: Happy New Year!
Robot: Happy New Year to you too! I hope 2007 is a great year for you!
You will need to change the dates in the patterns of the birthday section to your bot's birthday and feel free to change the responses too. Note this AIML requires the Pandorabots AIML extension <date/> tag.
At least three new businesses have made headlines recently with plans to enter the area of natural language search technology. One provocative site, msdewey.com, combines an entertaining video avatar based on actress Janina Gavankar ("A Cup of Blood", "The L Word"). After several weeks online with some mystery surrounding the technology and its creators, it was revealed that none other than Microsoft was behind the Msdewey site. In a related news item, Microsoft acquired the bot company Colloquis, the former Conversagent, also formerly Activebuddy.
Two other startup companies recently announced funding to develop "natural language" search capabilities. Hakia, based in Istanbul and New York, is already online with a "meaning-based" search engine that allows users to enter a "question, sentence, phrase, or keywords." You can't have a conversation with Msdewey or Hakia like you can with an AIML chatterbot, but they can be an entertaining alternative to Google.
Powerset, based in Silicon Valley, reportedly received $12.5 million in funding to develop a natural language search capability. Many of us have long predicted a merger of chat robot conversational abilities with Google-style directed search. Avatars like Msdewey are certainly entertaining. On the other hand, we must draw cautionary lessons from Ask Jeeves, which began life as a natural language search engine, but eventually dropped the emphasis on natural language queries in order to compete with keyword search giants like Google. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in this new era of natural language search.
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