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November 2, 2010

Artificial Intelligence Project

If you have ever seen an episode of Star Trek or a futuristic movie you have probably heard someone say to a computer,  “Dim Lights” or “Tea, Earl Grey – Hot”.  While this is both interesting and impressive, it isn’t really isn’t talking, it is more like giving orders.  Wouldn’t it be neat to have a conversation with a computer instead?

This is what I am working towards.  I want to be able to converse with my computer.

Me: Lights on please.
Lights go on bright.
Me: Ah! Too bright.
Lights dim.
Computer: Sorry, is that better.
Me: Yes, that is much better.

For the last 3 years, on and off, I have been working with other developers, linguists, and experimenting with pre-existing software packages in the hopes that I would be able to have one of those computers in my home.  Version 1 of the software was very basic, I wrote an application that uses pre-existing voice recognition APIs that listened for a list of about 50 keywords, and executed various commands on the computer and responded appropriately.

Last night I started working on Version 2. I started my research with the pre-existing “chatter-bot” ALICE.  So far I am fairly impressed with ALICE. It is fairly obvious that you are talking to a computer, but if you don’t try to confuse her, the conversations can last quite a while. In this blogging series, I will be tracking my progress on Version 2 of my AI software and sharing any tidbits of interesting information that I come across on my journey to create the perfect computer AI.

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