AI Zone Admin Forum Add your forum

NEWS: survey on 3000 US and UK consumers shows it is time for chatbot integration in customer service!read more..

Dave Morton - RIP - Aged 58

Dave Morton, 18 March 1961 - 5 January 2020

It is with great sadness that I’ve learned of the passing of our dear friend Dave Morton. Dave had been battling with cancer for a couple of years and unfortunately on January 5th, he lost his fight.

Dave was one of the original botmasters and AIML expert, having been in the game for around 20 years and was one of the key figures behind Program-O, an offline AIML interpreter. His chatbot Morti is still online here:

I had the pleasure of meeting Dave in person in Philadelphia at the Chatbots 3.2 conference back in 2002 and you couldn’t wish to meet a kinder guy. Always happy and willing to help others with their bot issues.

Last year, I worked with Dave to help Program-O cope with the new features of AIML 2 and was also helping him to enter the Loebner Prize in 2020. At the time, Dave knew it would be a posthumous entry but that never stopped his usual cheery demeanour. Unfortunately, we didn’t complete this project before his death.

A true character and one that will be sorely missed in the chatbot world. So long, my friend.


  [ # 1 ]

I echo your condolences Steve. Dave and I had spoken many times via the phone and sometimes we just chatted about various ideas to give our chatbots more human-like qualities. Other times he would suggest methods for me to try on my own bot.

When he came to Philadelphia for the Chatbots conference, he later stopped over at a friend’s place near Annapolis, MD.
I contacted him and we agreed to meet. We had a wonderful meeting for the first time in person. I treated him to his very first Maryland Crab Cake at a restaurant that was well-known for their crab cakes. Upon his first bite, his eyes widened and looked straight at me. I asked if there was anything wrong? He said No, this is wonderful! He soon devoured the whole thing and finished his lunch with a very contented look on his face.

He had taken many photos of his trip to Washington, DC and had to share some of them with me while we were there. He was quite the photographer, amateur astronomer, poet, web developer, coder, mechanic and simply an amazingly wonderful man. I really believe he helped enrich peoples lives just by being himself, happy, cheerful, unselfish and willing to go the extra mile to assist someone in need.

I will no doubt miss him, our many chats and our friendship.

Rest peacefully Dave, my friend.


  [ # 2 ]

Sad news indeed.  Dave was always a calm and constructive voice here, and his willingness to sagely help others with their programming questions/issues was bottomless. You will be missed, Dave Morton.



  [ # 3 ]

Sad to hear.

Dave was a kind and welcoming presence in an age when we need more like him.


  [ # 4 ]

I will miss Dave.. He was half the reason I joined this forum, his wisdom and manners were exemplary.
My condolences.


  [ # 5 ]

OMG!!!! What a story my dear friends! I was just checking the homepage, then the forums and just read this very sad news…

Dave was active on our forums since 2009. He was one of the first members who signed up. During my first holiday in 2010 I asked him to moderate the forum and he was here since. He was such a kind nice man! Always so helpful, so patient, so loving. 

I was fortunate to speak to Dave just the week before Christmas. As most of us know he suffered cancer and I gave him some suggestions what he could do and followed up through e-mail and Skype. Strangely enough, he wasn’t responding to neither e-mail or Skype, which was very unusual for him. I already worried about him.

Dear Dave, may your soul rest in peace. I have never worked with someone who voluntary fulfilled a job like you for such a long time. On behalf of our past forum members, but certainly on behalf of myself, I’ll miss you!

- Erwin

p.s. as a side note: In the mean time, my role has changed within Therefore, I can’t make a homepage announcements or something like that. But I can still post on the forums. I’ll post on that later.


  login or register to react