Lillian was a virtual librarian. She was designed to answer user queries about books, and particularly library holdings. As well as being able to tell a user if a library holds a particular book she could also:
- Deep link them to the library's own holdings page for the book, which may have availability and reservation data
- Direct them to another library that holds the book if the local library doesn't
- Direct them to the right page on Amazon if the book is not held
- Advise them of books by a particular author held
- Advise them of books on a particular subject held
- Tell them what the book is about
- Tell them what other people thought of the book
- Tell them what books people like who also liked this book
You could ask Lillian questions like:
- Do you have a library near........ (e.g. Bury) - is a good idea to get Lillian to find you a nearby library before looking for books
- I live near ....... (e.g. I live near Bury) do you have .......... (e.g. Snowcrash)
- Do they have ...........
- Who wrote ...............
- What is * like
- What is * about
- What else is like *
- What else did * write
She is not programmed for general chat.
- The Discourse™ Natural Language Interface and Chatbot
engine from Daden Limited
- The Sitepal™ animated avatar
and text to speech system from Oddcast Inc
- Web services interfaces from:
Lillian is a web native, web delivered application, requiring only a browser with the Flash plug-in installed to work (Flash plug-in only required for avatar and text-to-speech).
The current version of Lillian is only a proof-of-concept. As such she lacks the security, resilience and error trapping that would be found in a production system, and only implements some of the knowledge cases which would be required in a publicly accessible system.
A text only version is also available for low-bandwidth use.