Tell me the truth. Would it not be waaay cool if your Mac could talk to you? You know, as if the Mac was HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
If my Mac could talk, as an intelligent sentient creature, I would have a huge list of questions. If my Mac was connected to the internet, like IBM’s Watson computer on Jeopardy!, would it consider me a worthwhile conversationalist? Here’s the first baby steps to a talking Mac.
Mac User, Meet ChatBot
It’s time for a conversation with your Mac. Unfortunately, your Mac isn’t too bright and needs a friend. That’s where ChatBot comes in. It’s a Mac app that engages in conversation with you.
Almost. ChatBot requires that you know how to type. But it will speak back to you.
This is a natural language processing chatterbot which is connected to the internet (your Mac’s soul has been outsourced).
The inspiration came from Joseph Weiszenbaums ELIZA program. The artificial intelligence came from Dr. Richard Wallace. ChatBot, the app, features Qwerty the AI chatbot, which appears to have a little schizophrenia (multiple personalities).
So, Qwerty becomes your Mac, and you can carry on a dialog. Ask it questions. It responds. The results are remarkably interesting (especially when you consider how banal and inane some human conversations can be.
Here’s an example.
You: Hey, qwerty, how’s it going?
Qwerty You’ve got my full attention. Ok I will add that fact about qwerty how to my database.
You: Not sure what you mean.
Qwerty I mean exactly what I said.
You: I thought so. How is the weather?
Qwerty You are very astute. Sunny.
You: Who won the Republican debate last night?
Qwerty I think the fans were the big winners, don’t you?
You: Do you enjoy politics?
Qwerty What is not to like about it?
That’s how it goes. Qwerty is the voice and speaks to you using the Mac’s built-in text-to-speech feature. Qwerty is a free bot. Premium bots will cost extra. ChatBot the app is free. For now.
If there’s anything that surprises me about computer advancement over the past 20 years that I’ve been involved, it’s how little the computer, Mac or PC, interacts in a human way with humans.
Wait ‘til next year.