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Sunday 10 November 2002

Rebot getting smarter [lurks]

A long time ago, Rebot used to use an A.L.I.C.E bot on a web page. Rebot is pretty much a study of raping just about anything on the web and this was the most interesting. I had set it up to replace any ALICE specific stuff with Rebot. It would pipe up and say spooky things either if you just said rebot without doing a specific command or sometimes just in the course of a conversation since someone said something long enough to have enough content to be worthy chipping in.

Unfortunately that bot page went down and for a very long time Rebot went back to being boring old Rebot without any AI other than a shitload of ever expanding random switch statements. It was always my goal to integrate the ALICE engine into Rebot properly but the various incantations out there were just far too much hard work.

I decided to sort it out properly. Based on J-Alice, Rebot now has a local ALICE powered brain. This is extremely powerful indeed but it's only as good as the AIML (artificial intelligence markup language) it has for brains. I've basically plonked in the basic Anna bot AIML and tried to remove as many full stops, ums and dumb Atlanta Georgia and Liebner prize specific references as I could and inserted plenty of Rebot's trademark bad attitude. It's a damn big task though and I've only scratched the surface of the AIML.

Rebot logs everything it says and so far it's either talking crap 75% of the time or people are deliberately feeding it with junk to make it say stupid things. Difficult for me to tell without watching Rebot's console 24/7 so I've been working on another instance of it locally instead.

The next step really is to solicit some help to work on the AIML. See the ALICE engine doesn't learn or anything. It's all hard coded in the AIML so it comes down to someone editing it. I was thinking of putting the AIML up on a web interface so it could be communally edited and expanded. Then I remembered what slack fucks everyone is and went off to make a sandwich instead ;)

Anyhow - the ultimate AI goal for Rebot would be to hybrid the ALICE engine with one of the older learning language based chat bots. Then I'd remove all default responses from the ALICE engine (when it doesn't know what to make of the input) and detect that (a default response) and then flip to the backup learning language based AI instead.

That would have the best compromise of having somewhat pre-programmed appropriate responses to lots of content from the AIML files and also picking up fun stuff from IRC at the same time. I've even written a mailing list bot which quotes and posts replies but so far it's talking too much shit for me to unleash just yet :)

I'd also like to do some fundamental work on ALICE because it's missing out being able to register some emotional contexts in the AIML. I'd also like some more output from it based upon those contexts, other than just the text. Then I could do things like create a 'mood' based on how much you were giving Rebot a hard time.

Actually I'd like to spin out the AI stuff to something separate so it could be of use to other people other than the 5 people in #eed.


  1. It's really good so far, it's entertaining, does do some clever responses from time to time, and actually keeps the conversation flowing bizzarely. We've two professional AI coders in the clan, be nice if one or both of them would chip in with some support here? Wake up you slack fucks!

  2. To be honest, linguistic AI and game AI are chalk and cheese. Appart from the slackness of course, that's common. I suspect if Stumpy was involved Rebot might go 'Baa!' from time to time. If Pod was involved... well, the hard coded hatred of football probably precludes that :)

  3. Rebot rocks. If you did actually make the web interface for thecomments and stuff it would be fantastic - perhaps with a limitation toonly allow people to edit their own comments - you could retain themaster delete because otherwise all the fun insults would get taken outby the subject. We're not to slack to put serious time into creatinginsults for clan mates!

    And if you did do the web interface, couldn't you then sell Rebot? Ithink it's something loads of channels would like, if they could programit to comment in their own native language / style / level of insult.And couldn't you code it so that rebot reports back to a master serverwith it's channel name / serial number and nukes itself if it's not asigned-off bona fide purchase?

  4. I don't know why I didn't do this earlier, I've just replaced the AIML with the original A.L.I.C.E. AIML that was responsible for by far and away the most gags. So no more ums and loads of full stops. Unfortunately that's trashed all the hand editing I made so far. It's still better to talk to in the console here,.let me know how it goes.

    Getting back to what Am said, I don't think anyone on IRC would pay for bots. It would be a tremendous amount of work to turn Rebot into something generically useful and people on IRC don't pay for much at all, let alone IRC bots ;)

    I'm still thinking of the collaborative AIML. I think people are too slack to help so I had a brainwave. I was going to write an e-mail server app which grabs random bits of AIML and mails them to people at random from a list of addresses. These people can then submit updates to the AIML they've been sent, just by editing and replying. Now *that* would work. It's also quite fair, if a clan mate's name comes up because you get the bit of AIML that has it - well, fair game :)