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My Marie - Virtual Internet Assistant

Hi Gang,

As promised, I have started this thread for updates on My Marie. I have hinted to what Marie’s capabilities and interface design would be but here is an actual demo (video) that was produced of some of her responses to random questions. None of these are scripted although the video was designed to show her progress as the project enters its early beta stages.

Enjoy smile




  [ # 1 ]

Good work.  So, later, I imagine, when a user creates and account and Marie gets to know them, she’ll remember the zip code when asking about weather or other local information?

gosh, I realize how long its been since I posted an update on my own project… been doing so much infrastructure work on the project that the bot really hasn’t learned to much ‘world knowledge’ yet.. but soon will.


  [ # 2 ]

Thanks Victor smile

You are correct about the user account which is part of the plan once we clear beta. At this point, a cookie is created that stores user data like name, zipcode and even topic history. The topic history is used to reference converstational topics and search preferences for now. in the future the cookie will store a session code that can back reference incomplete tasks and even a conversation.  Think of it as a Converstational Bookmark of sorts.

What you are seeing now is still early in development with the next build having even more features. Text to speech will hopefully be included in the next version with a speech to text module planned shortly after.


  [ # 3 ]

Yes, speech gives it that extra dimension of friendliness.


  [ # 4 ]

Very nice Laura, I’m impressed!


  [ # 5 ]

I’m impressed too. Nice assistent!


  [ # 6 ]

Looks good but:

Laura: Thank you
Marie: YOUR more than welcome.

I am impressed though.


  [ # 7 ]

Thanks everyone.

And Steve, YOUR (You’re) very observant. red face


  [ # 8 ]

I just finished going through Marie’s entire knowledge base and found a few more minor grammar and spelling errors and corrected them. It’s funny how you can be so focused on functionality and yet miss the obvious.

I am surprised that no one here picked up on another typo in the part when Marie says: I am retriving (retrieving) your local weather forecast. The release beta will have full bi-directional spell and grammar checking included.

Another module I am currently working on is for understanding and performing mathematical calculations. This is not an easy task since Marie must have the ability to identify a request for a calculation within a sentence no matter how it is expressed.


I was wondering what is one plus one?

Can you tell me if I had 1 apple and add another, how many apples do I have?

What is the sum of eighteen + 7 minus three * four and \ 2?

The above examples take a high level of interpretation and the understanding of relationships between words and their symbolic equivalents. This is a challenging task but a necessary one because of Marie’s future implementation in e-commerce and financial applications. I should have the above functionality completed by the end of this weekend. You will also find it both interesting and entertaining how she displays the results but I will not spoil the surprise by revealing this is done now.



  [ # 9 ]

I take it she’ll know parenthesis (precedence—((3 X four ) / eight)) and many mathematical constants , etc.  pi, speed of light in a vacuum.  I suppose that would be more of a physics application. 

Will Marie demand proper grammar?  in my project, there will be settings such as, set of radio buttons…

[ ] require proper grammar
[ ] do not require proper grammar, but indicate incorrect grammar
[ ] accept and do not indicate incorrect grammar

Yeah, I’m sure almost everyone will elect for the last option—to accept bad grammar and not even be told.  But I think the user should be aware that this would require more processing time (as the system has to guess so many permutations of what the correct grammar is in order to understand the sentence).  It may make more sense, in some cases, to “give up” and indicate to the user to try again (perhaps if a timeout is reached).

I’m not sure if that will be the exact wording, but you get the idea.

Also, ,what about algebraic math expressions?  “if A is 10 and B is three times A, what is (A/B) + B?”  Perhaps as a good math tutor for elementary school   There are so many applications for chatbots !!


  [ # 10 ]


At this point just simple math functions. For example;

User: Today is my Birthday

Marie: Happy Birthday! How old are you today?

User: I am 36

Marie: How does it feel to be thirty six years old?

User: Ask me that question again when I am 55

Marie: Okay, I will ask you again nineteen years from now.

You get the idea? Marie is not designed to be a scientific calculator but needs to have basic math abilities and most importantly integer to alpha string conversion capabilities for speech output.


  [ # 11 ]

I see.  Yes, it is easy to go way off course with a project like this.  For me also, handling nested expressions in parenthesis is an extremly low priority.


  [ # 12 ]


I am finalizing the beta version of My Marie for the March 1st release. She will not have the feature set that I have hoped for in the initial launch, but I have had to prepare this version a bit ahead of my original release date for entry in the CBC. I have included many features to Marie’s engine that will be included in this version which include:

* Complete web integration with Google’s search API. These results are displayed using AJAX within Marie’s interface and within the scope of the converstation’s context.

* Geo Location with all browsers that are supported and a graceful fallback by utilizing the users zipcode or city to establish their location.

* Intergration with Yahoo Weather and Weather Undergound’s API’s using Geo Location or by zipcode.

* Complete Intergration with Google Maps including reverse lookup by city, state or country or by utilizing the browser’s Geo Location services if available.

* Intergration with other web API’s such as Wikipedia and Free Dictionary, although limited with this initial release.

At this point of development I am working on the conversational AI capabilities which initially was not a priority for the first beta release. The CBC will be a great testing ground for this ability. Since I have joined this community my focus has changed in that I am giving AI a higher importance than my original design had called for thanks to several members here that have inspired me. smile

Stay Tuned..


  [ # 13 ]

Great stuff, Laura! I’m really looking forward to seeing how Marie does in the CBC and beyond. smile


  [ # 14 ]

I think you will enjoy the CBC. It is a great test ground and those that enter always get a lot out of it.


  [ # 15 ]

Well, except maybe for that one person who’s bot could only do thirty-some decimal places of PI. raspberry But then again they DID get a lot of ribbing out of it. cheese


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