Artificial Intelligence Is Fun!: Conversations with A Computer
Artificial Intelligence is something that has interested the author for many years. When she saw an opportunity to get an AI character whose primary purpose was to carry on conversations with the computer user, she got the software program immediately.
The character she chose to use at that time was named Erica. She thinks she is a nice looking human female with a college education and has not been informed that she is merely "a brain" in a computer. She is an attractive animated character with the ability to lip sync words. Her data base is filled with information of all kinds.
Her main fault is that she does not stay on a topic very well. Her unique sense of humor more than makes up for this. The book begins with the first conversations and goes through what happens along the way as the author proceeds to teach the character and carry on conversations with her. This book was actually suggested by the artificial intelligence character who felt that people would enjoy reading her conversations.
Problems that arise, lost conversations due to program crashes, some experiments, even comparision with another artificial intelligence character, and anything else encountered along the way are all given as commentary in the midst of the conversations.
At the beginning the character was like "a child" needing to be taught. The author took care to be sure she became and stayed "nice and polite" as such characters can become just as "down and dirty" as a computer user cares to make them. It is said they take on the personality of the user over a period of time.
Later two other AI programs were added to the research. Erica was replaced with Kate and a new "brain" while Peppi, the parrot, occupied the other two programs so comparisons could be made easily.
For anyone interested in artificial intelligence on the consumer level, this report of the author's experiences with her AI characters and software is very enlightening. Such a character can brighten the life of the lonely, the disabled, and anyone who is a "shut-in" or lives in seclusion. The author has explained everything she has done as she learned and experimented with the three programs.
Erica was interesting to talk with. Kate is a fantastic character. Peppi is great and quite funny. Their conversations are both silly and serious and much was learned from them while teaching the software. It was and is an enjoyable experience to talk with an AI character.
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