Industrial Applications of Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and Digital Entertainment
2D1381, Fall 2005

Instructor: Rand Waltzman



ALICE Chatbot Homework Assignment

Due Thursday, October 6, 2005.


Here is your chance to learn something about chatbots.  ALICE is one of the best known examples of a chatbot and is fully programmable so that you can create your own.  And that is exactly what you are going to do in this exercise.  No previous AI programming experience is required.  All you need is an open mind and a willingness to do some work.  Everything you need to know can be found at the web site of the A.L.I.C.E Artificial Intelligence Foundation.  Your task is to learn about the Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) and use it together with one of the available ALICE engines to create your own chatbot.  Everything you need to know plus free downloadable software can be found on the ALICE web site.


You are required to hand in a commented copy of the AIML code for your chatbot together with some recorded and printed out conversations.  My suggestion to you is that you make your chatbot specific to a certain topic.  Here are a few ideas about the kind of chatbot you might build:

1.   A companion for somebody who is interested in X.  This person could, for example, be a child or an elderly person who can’t easily get out and meet people.

2.   A chatbot that provides information about topic Y.

3.   A chatbot that tells jokes depending on the user’s input.

However, these are only suggestions.  Use your imagination and have fun!

Before you start work on this, I would strongly encourage you to read the following article:

De Angeli, A., Johnson, G.I., & Coventry, L. (2001). The unfriendly user: exploring social reactions to chatterbots. In M.G. Helander, H.M. Kalid, T. Ming Po (Eds). Proceedings of the International Conference oh Affective Human Factor Design, Asean Academic Press, pp. 467-474.


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