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This is your mind on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

It’s all about Bots!

It’s all about bots this week for me! My mind had already been going down this track for a month or so when low and behold Wired runs an article in the magazine about SmarterChild — a bot I’ve been playing with quite a bit. While investigating the matter I also stumbled across this article Wired published back in September about bots that can be used to prank people. Of course I did that right away and pranked my good friend Mike. Unfortunately, he’s been listening to me rant about these bots for a while now and he wasn’t biting when the bot knocked at the door. But the rest of you watch out! And, of course, my investigation wouldn’t be through if I didn’t have a bot of my own. The first one I set up was an ALICE bot, driven by the PHP Program known as Program E. (I liked it’s old name PHPillip better). it was created by Paul Rydell and is now maintained by some good folks over at SourceForge. This first bot is the Oracle and is an attempt at making a bot that is a kind of super-fancy magic eightball that will predict your future, provide fortunes and things of that nature. Don’t get too interested in him yet. I only put him up this week and there’s a lot of AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) work to be done yet.

The second one is a chatbot that I set up with the guys at RunABot. I was very excited to find these guys because I’m not enough of Perl programmer to be able to create an AIM interface for ALICE. (Moreover, I only have a shared server which can’t handle running a daemon or whatever those chatbots for AIM run on) This bot is an attempt to re-create one of my favorite cartoon characters right now, Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He’s rude, he’s crude and so’s his bot. You can chat with him by IMing mast3rshak3bot on AIM. He’s mostly complete for conversation, but his personality is evolving. All in all it will likely take about 10,000 entries for me to get him where I want. Better get to work!

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