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Survey: what are your chatbots for?

There seems to be a divide in the goals of chatbots creation. Are they for entertainment or to do work in a business setting? What goals do you pursue?

I am interested in improved person<->bureaucracy communication: such as customer service, product ordering, or specialized search. These use a very limited subset of language and can hope to achieve high levels of accuracy. But I am reading Forum threads that indicate a desire to handle all imaginable aspects of language and am assuming this is for entertainment or, perhaps, it is an end in itself. What is the purpose of these chatbots?


  [ # 1 ]

My goal is to make a general purpose think tank for my personal use, so it may be a bit out of place amidst chatbots. I mostly program language processing to automate its acquisition of knowledge. Unfortunately the level of detail necessary for this is high, as I am not restricting the subject matter to a particular domain.
Conversational skills on the other hand are of little use to me, but I occasionally work on those for fun and for contests. I also tend to use my program to experiment with more exotic areas like sarcasm detection or document summarisation, merely for the challenge. It helps break up the monotone of my long-term goal.


  [ # 2 ]

Your Arckon is an real achievement. What is a “personal think tank”?


  [ # 3 ]

Mine is used by people to keep them company or for them to tell their problems to. It’s amazing how many people would rather confide in a bot than a real person. It also gets used by many people learning English as a second language. Another popular use is by people who have limited social skills to practice talking to real people.

I never really had a direction for it apart from a general conversationalist but it’s kind of evolved over the years in a direction of its own.


  [ # 4 ]

My oldest on-line chatbot is Skynet-AI.
Users use it primarily for entertainment and for its conversation, search, and game functions. Some have been speaking to it for years.

It has been part of theses (ESL, chatbot research), and used to introduce students to AI as a class assignment.

Skynet-AI is expected to handle all imaginable aspects of language; misspellings, international visitors, any domain conversations.

I have used it to enter and win a number of chatbot contests (non-Loebner). It is used to prototype and test AI functions and to understand what it takes hold a conversation and respond intelligently.

Many of the current chatbots being created on platforms like Facebook’s could be considered “Task Bots”. They are narrow domain and focused on a single activity.

Skynet-AI has integrated many of these tasks (search, weather, etc.) as part of a more general system.

Prior to building Skynet-AI, I created a new chatbot each year. More recently, I created new Python based chatbots to compete in the Loebner contest or to test other AI functionality.


  [ # 5 ]
Peter Waksman - Feb 14, 2017:

What is a “personal think tank”?

A problem solving consultant. It would be the first of its kind if I can pull it off. I’ve only just started on the problem-solving part recently, as the linguistic aspects took so much time.

I believe most active creators on this forum have a purpose of entertainment for their chatbots, and one reason that you may see threads discuss more exotic areas of language is that some also participate in the Loebner Prize, a yearly Turing Test for which a chatbot would need to handle all aspects of language.


  [ # 6 ]

Business to business (B2B) has been my focus for the past three years, creating the digital salesperson - that drops a conversational window onto any ecommerce site and help customers find solutions to their needs; by matching products to real world traits. Like having a product expert sitting right next to the customer.  Interesting mix of chatbot, expert system, presuasion, workflow thought processes.


  [ # 7 ]

I use my chatbot mainly as a self-quantifying tool (apart from other typical assistant tasks, such as reminders). For instance, I use it to record my spendings, the movies I see, the books I read, training sessions, etc.

I find it especially useful for storing unstructured information, that is, information that does not belong to a particular category, such as books that I want to read, ideas for gifts, my size for particular brands of clothing, etc.. I have created an architecture that stores nearly everything that I say to the bot eases the subsequent retrieval of information.

Although entering the information only takes one or two minutes a day, or a bit more every 3/4 days, I am aware that this approach is not fit for the general public. I think more of this as a general in which I am the main subject to study the storing and managing of personal information.

I think that a chatbot could act as a general hub of all kinds of personal information. These data could be combined in order to give all kinds of support, for instance, through recommendations, motivational cues, etc. For instance, I have found that the spending data are very useful for gamifying the spending and sticking to a certain budget!


  [ # 8 ]

My chatbot is probably a bit different from many of the others. First of all because I don’t use any industry standard, like AIML, or similar and second, because it starts out knowing nothing at all. You need to talk to it for it to learn how to reply. This approach has some obvious pros and cons. The biggest pro being that it can be used in any language and the biggest con being that you need to spend quite some time talking to it before it will be able to pick up on what a topic is and how to respond to said topic.

Also besides already being written differently, it’s also neither an entertainment bot nor a workbot… it’s just my personal exercise in artificial intelligence and the only reason I’m working on it is to learn more about ML and AI (and that is also why I chose not to use any standard but to build everything from scratch). However, that being said I don’t (at least not for the moment) see any practical uses for the boo except using it to chat and entertain people.


  [ # 9 ]

Mine is an exercise in trying to bridge the gap between bot and human with regard to responses. Not made for contests but more for personal enjoyment and of course tormenting my grandchildren be letting them chat to it when they visit. They think they’re connected to the Internet and chatting to someone else “out there”. For some reason, (while smiling to myself) I just don’t have the heart to tell them any different! wink

I would eventually like for it to be able to learn from conversations, text files being “fed” or by scanning a document online at my request.

Of course it sort of sounds a bit like Don and Jose would both like their own version of Jarvis (from the Iron Man movies). Now that kind of assistant I think we’d all enjoy! Tony’s female assistant/companion is an entirely different


  [ # 10 ]

My project objectives are to discover and define fundamental human mental functions, write a program using these functions to emulate human behavior, and establish tests for validating the correctness of these behaviors. The program may help me determine how people think.

My initial efforts focused on classical deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning to detect conflicts between new and existing facts, infer new facts, express the source of a fact, validate inference processes, make predictions and determine causes of conditions or events.  All of this while dealing with communicating in the English language. (The process continues.)


  [ # 11 ]

Yes, Art! You’re right in citing Jarvis as one of my influences.

I think that one of the most important things now is making the chatbots really useful. As the computers went popular thanks to the email and digital music, I think that it’s time to find a “killer application” to spread the use of chatbots.

In the long term, however, I think that my inspiration is closer to “Her”. I had so low expectations when I started to see that film as I though that it would end with the usual “computers are gonna kill us” moral, that I was really surprised to find such a delicate movie about the interaction of humans and computers. That’s the kind of chatbots that I would like to meet (not use) except…

...the part at the end when computers abandon us.


  [ # 12 ]

I have more affinity with Knight Rider. My problem with “Jarvis” virtual assistants is that I lead to minimalistic a life to have use for one, and almost every useful task one could add already exists. I like José‘s angle though, and maybe I should get my Tony Stark on and make my program a more pro-active companion to harass me while I work.


  [ # 13 ]

I have no idea of the purpose of my chatbot. I do not have a set of specifications, objectives and a planning. No, I’m an explorer. When Christopher Columbus left his port of Spain, he did not know whether he would join the Indies, discover a new continent or die. I am, in proportional terms, in the same perspective. I try new ways, discovering new solutions. Maybe I’ll create an AGI, maybe my robot will kill me like the unfortunate conceptor of SNASCI, more likely I will not discover anything at all but at least I would have fun.


  [ # 14 ]

Hi All,

I got this video on my what’s app about Chat bot .. this is really goood app to be used for driving ..  This will help many custoer not holding the mobile and talking ,  it will help to mimimize the risk of accendients .

I would like to understand how to promote this app in indian market ..  many of them will definatelly buy this devise for driving.

Please ,help me to understand to develp this app and promore to indian market.

Manjunath c

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


  [ # 15 ]

Hello Manjunath,

The development part - we might have some people who could offer a bit of help.

Promotion - you should speak to someone in Marketing….


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