Thursday, October 02, 2014

ChatScript by Bruce Wilcox

I have become interested in a chatbot scripting language / engine by Bruce Wilcox, 2-time winner of the Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence. I would call it a "new" language, but it has been around for a couple of years. It is new to me.

I was recently impressed by his program's performance in the 2014 Loebner finalist selection. ChatScript is a very powerful scripting language, and makes huge advances over AIML, and my own language EARL. I prefer EARL of AIML, although it can import AIML files, but AIML is a very inefficient way to program a bot. EARL makes some advances, in terms of sets and expected replies, or rejoinders as Bruce calls them.

Another advance in CS is negative expectations. In EARL, you can make sets of anticipated replies, but if the user responds with something not in one of the expected sets, the input gets a reply from the general pool of responses. CS allows for handling this in an elegant manner, and gives much more intelligent responses.

CS has another efficiency in that you give the simplest of expectations, and it automatically handles various conjugations and ordering of the response's wording. Very neat in terms of consolidation of rules. An AIML file of about 50,000 rules can be handled "handily" by around 15,000 CS rules, and with better computer performance, both in CPU cycles and quality of responses.

The engine that comes with it can be ran as a standalone console mode, or as a server on a linux box or a mac computer. I was able to download, install, and compile the source in about 10 minutes with no problems on my MacBook Pro notebook. The source and binaries come with very good documentation, and some additional PAPERS that I recommend that you start with. The paper subdirectory is under the DOCUMENTATION directory.

All of this treasure trove is available at

If you're interested in where the future of chatbot development is taking place, I urge you to check it out!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

West Caribbean Cruise / Return of the Jedi

Just got home from the cruise ship Carnival Ecstasy, leaving out of Miami. We got lucky at all our transportation exchanges, plane to ground transfer, cabs, busses, trains, all just about to leave when we got on.

On board the ship, they spared no opportunity to try and sell you things including the bottled water. The food was okay, but frankly, my wife is a better cook. Our take on the Carnival experience is that it is more "pop" oriented, loud music, all the pizza you can eat 24/7, etc. We went into the piano bar expecting west coast cool jazz and soothing classical music, but instead it was loud Billy Joel covers and requests for crowd participation.

Key West was a good stop on the way west, and we toured the Hemingway House. That was interesting, and we like cats, so everything there was good to us. We passed "Sloppy Joe's Bar" on a tour bus, but didn't go in there. Apparently the original bar was across the street.

We also docked at Cozumel Mexico, where we rented a beach house with a chef, and private beach. My wife went out on a kayak while I sat with a new friend drinking real tequila and piƱa colada's. The food was great, and there were only 8 of us there. I think that was my favorite part of the cruise. It was so beautiful and felt secluded and tranquil.

There was a LOT of walking on this trip, and I'm proud to say that hips gave me no pain, one of them is artificial (cobalt chromium steel with a titanium shaft.) Security was tight at the Miami International airport. I got x-rayed, patted down, hands swabbed, but really no pain. I'm glad for the security. I would say that airport traffic on Labor Day was very sparse in ATL, our MD-80 was full on the way back from MIA.

It helped that they had satellite internet on the ship, so I was able to check in to our Delta flight home a day prior to leaving. That saved a lot of time. I had chosen our seats going and coming before we left home.

All in all, a good trip. Next time perhaps we'll switch back to Royal Caribbean.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

SERIAL ALBUM by Dutch Cartoonist

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ernst Blofeld Society N=108's October EP has been re-released on bandcamp at Ernst Blofeld Society.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Indoors Outdoors

I'm writing a PBS drama about our cats and their lives among the stray cats that we feed called, "Indoors Outdoors." It will be a soap opera surrounding the indoor paterfamilias elder "Sir Charles Kitten", his two steely eyed vixen adoptees and the leading lady is the struggling outdoor cat, "Patches" and her clan. It features their attempts to maintain their place in the class hierarchy of Lawson Avenue and Self House.

Will Sir Charles sneak out to carouse with hot mama Patches? Will she learn that he is fixed? Can Emmy bite Patches on the behind through the glass window or will she cower when Patches traipses into the kitchen to eat the 9 Lives Indoor formula? Charles' addiction to Friskey's Party Time treats becomes widespread, "They're all doing it!" Meanwhile, the handsome gray cat from down the street visits, uttering his spooky talk to all the ladies. Saphie wants nothing better than to be an outdoor cat, or at least as far as the back porch. Will she become "backdoor friends" with the outdoors clan?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

N=108 October EP It's that time of year again and it's time for the October EP to surface and reach people. Click Here to get a copy on CD. Go to to get the same album in other formats. Thanks to you all for supporting Flux Oersted this year. Welcome the harvest moon. Let's bring home the pumpkins. thanks, Robby Garner / Flux Oersted

Friday, July 26, 2013

Macro level AI

Rather than bother ourselves about which word means what and how to spell gnat, let's deal with whole statements as the level of granular representation, and skip the computational linguistics mosh pit. That is more in kind with the level of semantic intercourse we engage in with our daily lives. Use logic, not "isa." Robby.
I guessed correctly that the pencil symbol meant write a new blog entry.

Block Heads and Scoundrels

The nanny bot can't tell when I've fixed the error. My IDE complains all the time. When I compile EARL, I get warnings about 2 lines of code that used to be okay, but I have no desire to fix. I don't want to slander anyone. Spend five minutes and come up with your own conclusions.