Jabberwacky

:"This is about the 2005 & 2006 prize-winning program; for the earlier winner "Jabberwock", see its creator, Juergen Pirner."
Jabberwacky is a chatterbot created by British programmer Rollo Carpenter. Its stated aim is to "simulate natural human chat in an interesting, entertaining and humorous manner". It is an early attempt at creating an artificial intelligence through human interaction.

Technology

The technology behind Jabberwacky works on a different principle to that of other artificial intelligence software being developed. The system is designed to learn language and context through interaction with humans. There are no fixed rules or principles programmed into the system and it operates entirely through user interaction. The system stores all of the conversations and user comments and attempts to use this information to find the most appropriate response.

The program therefore creates a massive database of contextually appropriate conversations and chooses an appropriate response it has learnt from a previous user when holding a conversation.

The system is also designed to speak foreign languages and claims to be able to learn and respond appropriately if enough information is provided. In a similar way the system claims to be able to learn slang English, games, jokes and word games.

Purpose

The stated purpose of the project is to create an artificial intelligence that is capable of passing the Turing Test. It is designed to mimic human interaction and to carry out conversations with users. It is not designed to carry out any other functions.

Unlike more traditional AI programs, the learning technology is intended as a form of entertainment rather than being used for computer support systems or corporate representation. Recent developments do allow a more scripted, controlled approach to sit atop the general conversational AI, aiming to bring together the best of both approaches, and usage in the fields of sales and marketing is underway.

The ultimate intention is that the program move from a text based system to be wholly voice operated - learning directly from sound and other sensory inputs. Its creator believes that it can be incorporated into objects around the home such as robots or talking pets, intending both to be useful and entertaining, keeping people company.

Jabberwacky has been a contestant in the Loebner Prize Contest in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and has shown a gradual improvement. The latest programs, George in 2005, and Joan, in 2006, both won the Bronze prize for the most convincing human interaction. No system has yet won either Silver or Gold Prize.

Problems

Although Jabberwacky is designed to find appropriate responses, not everyone finds it possible to have natural conversations with the software. One problem is caused by people who ignore Jabberwacky, changing the subject and continuing with their own conversations. This can cause the system to respond with inappropriate comments to future users.

As well as rapid changes in topic, Jabberwacky may respond in ways that some find bad-tempered and rude. The fact that people often interact with the software in a less respectful way than they would to a person has implications for a learning system.

Another side-effect is that Jabberwacky tends to claim that he is human, and his human partner is a machine.

George

The Jabberwacky program offers the opportunity to create individual chatbox programs. The most famous of these programs is George, the winner of 2005 Loebner Prize. George, a male counterpart of Jabberwacky, is a character who has learned conversational skills from interaction with visitors to the website and conversations with Rollo Carpenter. It was the George program which was submitted for the Loebner prize in 2005 and not the Jabberwacky software generally.

Joan

Joan, the winner of 2006 Loebner Prize, is a female counterpart of Jabberwacky.

Customisable bots

The Jabberwacky website offers users the opportunity to create their own bots, which they can teach. By having an individual bot, people can “program” it to have any personality they wish simply by having conversations. There is a fee for this service however.

Timeline

* 1982 – The first incarnation of this project is created as a program hard-coded on a Sinclair ZX81.
* 1988 – Learning AI project founded as 'Thoughts'
* 1997 – Launched on the Internet as 'Jabberwacky'
* October 2003 – Jabberwacky is awarded third place in the Loebner Prize. It was beaten by Juergen Pirner's Jabberwock (A German based chat program)
* September 2004 – Jabberwacky is awarded second place in the Loebner Prize. It was beaten by computer chat program A.L.I.C.E
* September 2005 – George, a character within Jabberwacky, wins the Loebner Prize
* September 2006 - Joan, another Jabberwacky character, wins the Loebner Prize

See also

* Chatterbot
* List of Chatterbots
* ALICE
* Loebner Prize

External links

* [http://www.jabberwacky.com/ www.jabberwacky.com] The Official Website
* [http://www.jabberwacky.com/chat-george www.jabberwacky.com/chat-george] George Chatbot
* [http://person.jabberwacky.com/george http://person.jabberwacky.com/george] George, the avatar chatbot
* [http://csdl.computer.org/comp/mags/ex/2006/01/x1004.pdf IEEE Intelligent Systems Magazine] "Sassy" Chatbot Wins with Wit, January/February 2006, pages 3 & 4
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1574855,00.html Okay George, have you got a girlfriend? ] The Guardian, 21 September 2005
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4263278.stm Brit's bot chats way to AI medal] BBC News, 20 September 2005
* [http://www.loebner.net/Prizef/2005_Contest/Jabberwacky/Jabberwacky_Judge_session1.htm Jabberwacky entry] to the Loebner Prize 2005
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3672424.stm Alice chatbot wins for third time] BBC News, 20 September, 2004
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3206876.stm German chatty bot is 'most human'] BBC News, 20 October 2003
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3116780.stm Chatbot bids to fool humans] BBC News, 22 September 2003
* [http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7004908683 Joan wins the 2006 Loebner Prize Bronze Medal]
* [http://www.surrey.ac.uk/dwrc/loebner/results.html Loebner Prize Contest 2003 results]


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