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'Civil War of Intellectual Property'
A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation declares support for Richard Stallman
and the fight for freedom of 'Intellectual Property'
29 May 2001 -- San Francisco CA
The A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation today released a statement regarding 'intellectual property' rights, in the light of the recent escalation of public debate about the topic, sparked by dramatic public statements from Microsoft against free and open source software.
"This is the Civil War of Intellectual Property," said A.L.I.C.E. creator Richard Wallace. "These attacks by Microsoft are just the beginning. I am sure they were prepared for the onslaught of criticism from Stallman and others, in fact they probably expected it. I am sure that Microsoft is prepared for a long war."
Microsoft's Jim Allchin, Richard Mundie and others have recently made statements attacking the basic foundations of free software (http://www.fsf.org) and open source processes as being antithetical to success in business. The Free Software Foundation has posted many helpful informational documents answering common questions about the GNU GPL, and countering Microsoft's rhetoric.
The Alicebot engine and core AIML are released under the GNU GPL. Although Wallace has stated that the initial decision to do so in 1995 was a "fortunate accident of history", the decision has since come to be critical in distinguishing A.L.I.C.E. and its progeny from commercial alternatives that are shrouded in secrecy and rely on unproven proprietary algorithms and programming languages.
While commercial vendors have attempted to sell their wares for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have blocked the general development community from participating in improving the technology, A.L.I.C.E. has enjoyed six years of uninterrupted attention from over 300 talented developers all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken with Alicebot engines, providing a richer source of data than any commercial engine has ever enjoyed. The result has prompted Wallace to say that "No other theory of natural language processing can better explain or reproduce [our] results".
But, says Wallace, "most of the big players don't even know AIML is in the game yet. We are off in the wilderness winning small battles. As time passes these victories will become more important, and I expect A.L.I.C.E. and AIML to move to the center of the IP War before it's over.
"Naturally I believe that the good guys will win, with all our advantages. But this war could last a lot longer than anyone expects."
The A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation officially announces its support for the Free Software Foundation's efforts to protect the legal basis on which several hundreds of software programs have been developed and released to the public: the GNU General Public License.
About the A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation
The A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation was founded in 2001, as a non-profit organization with the following mission:
Promote the adoption and development of Alicebot and AIML technology.
Develop and maintain standards for AIML, the AIML pattern language, Alicebot implementations,
and Alicebot interfaces (Responders).
Pursue and promote research and development in natural language and artificial intelligence technologies.
Provide education and training resources to promote the adoption of AIML technologies.
Work closely with and advise commercial entities engaged in AIML development to develop standards, plan future programs, and evaluate research and development.
Allocate public and/or private funds as appropriate to organizations, agencies or individuals who can provide AIML, programs or products of high quality if they are deemed beneficial to the community.
Plan and host periodic conferences and meetings as required to accomplish the general goals of the organization.
About Richard Wallace
Dr. Richard S. Wallace is the Chairman of the Board and co-founder of the A.L.I.C.E. Artificial Intelligence Foundation. He is the author of Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) and Botmaster of A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity). Dr. Wallace's work has appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, CNN, Time, ZDTV and in numerous foreign language publications across Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Richard Wallace is a volunteer accountant and programmer for St. Martin de Porres' Chapel, a medical cannabis patient services organization. Wallace was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder in 1992, and became functionally disabled in 1999. He cares for sick and dying patients every day, and provides critically needed technical assistance to the Center.
In 1995 Dr. Wallace began working on A.L.I.C.E. Originally a SETL program, first used to control a robot eye with natural language commands, A.L.I.C.E. migrated to the platform-independent Java language in 1998. Made open source under the GNU general public license, more than 300 developers from around the world now contribute to the A.L.I.C.E. project. A.L.I.C.E. won the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, in 2000.
Richard Wallace was born in Portland, Maine in 1960. Wallace earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1989. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Kim, and son, Linus.
Dr. Richard S. Wallace