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"Mitbolel - the fully customisable ChatterBot Applet" - Yazann Romahi, 1998

WHAT IS MITBOLEL?: Mitbolel (alpha v0.9) is a chatterbot written in Java using slot and frame parsing with extensibility and customisability in mind. With Mitbolel, you can put a chatterbot on your web site without writing a single line of code. The knowledge base (or information repository) is separate from the code so that anyone can customise the applet to their needs! (whether you want it to answer questions about you, your favourite topic or anything else that you can think of). It is FREE and if you decide to use it and set it up on your web page, I would be most grateful if you could also email me to tell me that you actually use it! I would also love to hear from you if you have ideas on how to extend it.

HOW DO I CUSTOMISE MITBOLEL FOR MY PERSONAL USE?: To customise Mitbolel, you require a file called KnowledgeBase.data, the URL to which you pass to Mitbolel as an applet parameter. This file acts as the information database which the Mitbolel parser uses in generating its sentences. Further instructions on how to install Mitbolel on your own web page are available here.

HINTS: The current version still needs some smoothening out. In particular, you have to use full sentences and for full effectiveness, can not start your sentences with interjections like "Well" etc... ie. instead of saying "Well, I am really enjoying this.", say "I am really enjoying this".

The applet is now provided as a .jar file and thus requires at least Netscape 4.03 or above. Please note that though theoretically, it should work under IE 4.01 and above, my IE had some problems with the graphics rendering but otherwise, it worked.

"Can Machines Think?" - Alan Turing, 1950

The original Turing Test was devised by Alan Turing, the renowned British mathematician and Enigma codebreaker, who has been hailed as the founder of computer science. Turing suggested the test in 1950 in his paper Computing Machinery and Intelligence.

The Turing Test, in a nutshell, says that if a computer's conversation is indistiguishable from a human's then the machine can be credited with some intelligence.

Chatterbots, like Mitbolel above, are computer programs devised to simulate human conversation. They analyse the patterns of what you say and return with a suitable reply. Although, they don't actually understand, they return with an apparently sensible answer. Although Natural Language Processing is a very active research area, for the sake of the above program, I have used an Eliza-like pattern matching system as it is the most straightforward (though also the most naive).

I shan't get into the question of whether the Turing Test is an accurate gauge of intelligence or not. If you want to find out more about the Turing Test or about Artificial Intelligence, the pointers in the table to the right are some great places to start.

Find out about Artificial Intelligence
King's College,
University of Cambridge
(Turing's old college...or here to visit the Computer Lab)

World's top AI lab

Mitbolel Speaks German!
Beate Zeidler has given Mitbolel a German knowledge base.

Loebner Prize
First formal instantiation of a Turing Test (From 2001, to be held under the auspices of the London Science Museum

Turing Test for the Masses
Go Mitbolel! (Vote for me)

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