Significance of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML
29 Apr 2001 -- San Francisco CA
Fifty one years ago the mathematician and Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing proposed his famous "test" for artificial intelligence--whether a machine could imitate a woman in an instant messaging style scenario. Ten years ago the philanthropist Hugh Gene Loebner initiated the first annual real-life version of the Turing Test
Last year, A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) won the Loebner Prize. She was ranked "most human computer" by a panel of judges including linguists, philosophers, psychologists and writers. This year several AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) chat robots are expected to enter the competition, to be held at the London Science Museum on October 13, 2001.
Not only an award winning achievement in artificial intelligence, A.L.I.C.E. and her AIML software have many commercial applications. The upcoming Steven Spielberg film A.I. utilizes an AIML chatbot on its web site
As an open source project under the GNU Public License (the same as used by Linux), A.L.I.C.E. has benefited from more than 5 years of development by over 300 contributors from around the world. Because the open source software is available free, unlike commercial chat robot software costing thousands of dollars, up to 85% of the installed chat robots today utilize AIML software. Companies utilizing AIML chat robots include Agentland.com, Archangelis, 4Dmedia, X-31, and CreditLyonnaise.
The long-term impact of open source natural language software will become apparent in the next few years, as companies and individuals seek to integrate voice recognition, wireless and intelligent control software. A.L.I.C.E. and AIML are seen as a "missing piece" that links such diverse technologies as XML, databases, J2EE, Jxta, Tellme, WAP, HDML, Nuance, BeVocal, Voxeo, ICQ, AIM, Jabber, and Blackberry. Despite the recent downturn in the computer business, there are now more AIML developers than ever before, more applications, and a rapidly growing body of AIML content.
Artificial celebrity personalities are another significant trend in A.L.I.C.E. and AIML technology. John Lennon, Elvis, Mr. T, Elmer Fudd, and the Smurfs are all available for live chat online. Other original AIML personalities such as LeknorChat, ICQza, and Jenny visit clients through instant messaging. Our unsolicited fan mail suggests that many of these people are unaware their chat partner is a robot.
In order to preserve and promote our free open source software, and to make it available to all commercial players on an equal basis, we have founded a nonprofit corporation, the A.L.I.C.E. Artificial Intelligence Foundation (www.alicebot.org). The founding Board of Trustees are Dr. Richard S. Wallace, Chairman; Nika Dubrovsky, Russian Internet Entrepreneur; Noel Bush, former Vice President of Engineering for Artificial Life, Inc.; and Jon Baer, lead developer of Alicebot.net. The A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation is following the course set by the Free Software Foundation, the Apache Foundation, the Python Foundation and other open source projects in making the highest quality software available in the great tradition of free and open sharing of knowledge.
Dr. Richard S. Wallace
A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation
+1 (415) 753-1990