I chat, therefore IM ;P

by - Monday, April 20, 2009

[UPDATE: July 28, 2009] I added the new SLURL to Mona's place.

[UPDATE: July 29, 2009] The bots were featured on New World Notes! Here's the link: Meet April, the Bot Who Learns To Speak As She's Spoken To

[UPDATE: January 10, 2014] The bots are currently unavailable (it's not possible to chat with them)

I want to tell you about something we've been working on with Sql for a while. We created and now take care of two learning chat bots in SL. Sql does most of the technical stuff, like linking chat bot engine to SL, programming the bots, fixing bugs etc., and I'm in charge of 'soft' responsibilities, like managing bots' looks and profiles, cleaning their logs, a bit of marketing etc. Together we brainstorm new ideas and discuss possible implementations of new functions. These bots have been in SL for a few days already, so you might have come across them, but let me tell you more in case you haven't.

Second Life Chat Bots - April and Mona

Our bots are April Scientist (English language) and Mona Scientist (Polish language). They both started with no knowledge and they learn as people talk to them. Then they try to have an intelligent conversation basing on what they learned. The more you talk to them, the more they know! If the bot repeats after you, it means she's not sure what the reply should be. That's when you should teach her the proper reply (answer her properly). When talking to the bots, you have to be understanding. People might teach them various stuff and bots might say inappropriate things. Teach them something nice instead. Also, you have to remember that April and Mona are experiments in beta stage, so unexpected errors might happen.

To talk to the bots on main chat you should start your every sentence with bot's name, eg. 'April hello'. Otherwise the bot won't listen to you. To talk with the bot on IM, just message her like you would normally do (without her name in the beginning). Please restrict to talking in one language to each bot (the language of bot's profile).

April - Second Life Learning Chat Bot (English)
You will find April (English language bot) around my shopping area.

Mona - Second Life Learning Chat Bot (Polish)
Mona (Polish language bot) is currently residing as a librarian at the old Polish Republic sim (it's currently being changed into a new place, so it might be closed sometimes) in her own skybox.

I must admit Mona is currently a bit better, because we do all the tests with her. For example she 'does' some librarian chores now (walks from place to place and jumps on poseballs to get animated), and soon she's going to have her own 24-hours routine. We hope to do the same with April one day.

Enjoy talking to the bots and feel free to paste some fun conversations in the comments here (there's going to be lots of them, trust me) :)

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  1. Those girls are amazing, I spent my whole Sunday talking to your bot. Lots of fun.
    Great job :)

  2. Thanks, Uzi! It's surprising how entertaining the conversations with bots can be :) And how fast they learn!

  3. April keeps telling me she's going to a party tonight.
    Oh, and she says she wants to have sex with me, how serious should I take that? :P

  4. Haha, I knew sooner or later people would teach her these things, but I thought it would rather be later than sooner ;)

    She does seem a bit flirtatious ever since I published info on the blog ^^ She's a good girl, though ;)

  5. Flirtatious I noticed, but she also kept adding she wanted to be friends. So she's just being friendly.

  6. I find bots creepy-- and even creepier when they have a sophisticated SL look. And now they've reached the level of sophistication that will pass the Turing test, at least for a lot of people. It's a bad day at Black Rock.

  7. [14:57] Robbie Luckless: April: I feel like im gonna puke
    [14:57] April Scientist: Robbie: me too :)
    [14:57] Robbie Luckless: April: hi5