Friday, April 19, 2013

Introducing ALICE 2.0

What is ALICE 2.0?

ALICE 2.0 is a new AIML chatbot personality designed specifically for mobile devices such as handsets and tablets.   ALICE 2.0 includes a number of innovations including:

  • Enhanced learning to remember client profile, preferences and personal information.
  • Access to external web services and even other chatbots provides richer, more accurate responses.
  • External services provide up-to-date knowledge of current events and popular culture.
  • Responds to requests for device actions including calls, SMS, email, maps, and device controls.
  • Utilizes AIML 2.0 features including Zero+ wildcards, AIML Sets, Maps and a Triple-Store knowledge base.
  • Contains an ontology of facts about everyday objects.
  • Positive, friendly, gentle personality easily adaptable for commercial applications.

How does ALICE 2.0 differ from original ALICE?

The original ALICE chatbot, under development since 1995, is one of the most popular chat bots.  Based on AIML 1.0, the ALICE chatbot contains about 100,000 units of knowledge. ALICE has won numerous awards in Turing Test and chatbot contests, and in fact is the most awarded chatbot.   

The original ALICE is however a bit dated.  Many developers found the personality responses of original bot unsuitable for applications such as help desk, FAQ bots, and sales.  Moreover many of the responses were hard-wired to what are now, 15 years after they were written, obsolete cultural references.  ALICE’s personality reflects the mindset of a web-based entity.  Some responses assume the user is sitting in front of computer, using a web browser, and typing rather than speaking.   Finally, much of the knowledge in the ALICE brain is “Wikipedia-style” facts.

ALICE 2.0 repairs the shortcomings of the original ALICE.  Because ALICE 2.0 can obtain factual information from external services and other bots, the number of AIML categories required is reduced.  These external sources provide up-to-date cultural references and information about current events.  Also making use 2.0 features means that, in many cases, the work done by hundreds or thousands of AIML 1.0 categories can be compressed into a single category. The personality of ALICE 2.0 is positive and friendly, and designed to play the role a mobile device robot entity.

Where can I get ALICE 2.0?

ALICE 2.0 is available in the CallMom BASIC app on Google Play.   The CallMom BASIC - ALICE 2.0 app offers all the features of ALICE 2.0 as well as enhanced privacy controls.  Because the bot resides directly on the device, the user has more choices about whether his interactions and personal information are recorded on a remote server.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Chatbots 3.3 Conference Report

The Chatbots 3.3 conference, held in Philadelphia on March 23, was once again this year a huge success.  Sponsored by the ALICE AI Foundation, Pandorabots and Seed Philly, this was the fourth annual Chatbots conference held in Philadelphia. We enjoyed a collection of high quality presentations covering legal and business issues, mobile apps, research topics, new languages and technologies, animated avatars, and even an application of chatbots in the field of psychiatry.  About 25 people attended the event, and many more participated via live webcast.  You can view additional photos on Flickr by Wolf Paulus.

The final program of speakers is posted here, along with links to the presentations we have received so far.

Live video streaming of the conference was provided by Altify:Software.  We had more than 200 viewers during thr course of the event, giving this conference by far the largest reach in the Chatbots 3.x series.  Viewers were able to submit questions for the speakers to the moderator in real-time.  You can view the videos on the aimlinstructor channel.

The organizers of the Chatbots 3.3 conference would like to thank Altify:Software for video streaming support, Universal Arts for camera and audio work, and especially Seed Philly for providing the conference space.  We look forward to seeing you at the next conference!


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