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Return of the Imitation Game.

Title:Return of the Imitation Game.
Authors: Donald Michie
Series:Linköping Electronic Articles in Computer and Information Science
ISSN 1401-9841
Issue:Vol. 6(2001): nr 028
URL: http://www.ep.liu.se/ea/cis/2001/028/

Abstract: Recently there has been an unexpected rebirth of Turing's imitation game in the context of commercial demand. To meet the new requirements the following is a minimal list of what must be simulated.

Real chat utterances are concerned with associative exchange of mental images. They are constrained by contextual relevance rather than by logical or linguistic laws. Time-bounds do not allow real-time construction of reasoned arguments, but only the retrieval of stock lines and rebuttals, assembled Lego-like on the fly.

A human agent has a place of birth, age, sex, nationality, job, family, friends, partners, hobbies etc., in short a “profile”. Included in the profile is a consistent personality, which emerges from expression of likes, dislikes, pet theories, humour, stock arguments, superstions, hopes, fears, aspirations etc. On meeting again with the same conversational partner, a human agent is expected to recall not only the profile, but also the gist of previous chats, as well as what has passed in the present conversation so far.

A human agent typically has at each stage a main goal, of fact-provision, fact elicitation, wooing, selling, "conning" etc. A human agent also remains ever-ready to maintain or re-establish rapport by switching from goal mode to chat mode. Implementation of this last feature in a scriptable conversational agent will be illustrated.


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