The Atomic Playboy and the Radiation Romeo

The button below will open a new browser window displaying the Flash interface for Atomic and Romeo (Version 16 with Preloader). You will find a page of introductory text, some instructions and then the interface where you can suggest a topic for conversation.

This version 16 uses the landscape layout, updates the heckler and end-of-conversation functions with an audio sign-off. All the features from previous versions remain - scroll bar control,custId variable allows me to better log and track conversations.

The chat-bots are hosted on the Pandorabots server under the Shared Service subscription. Please note, the terms of the Updated Policy Guidelines for Free Community Server state that the “Use of automated scripts to make your pandorabot talk to itself or another bot or script” is proscribed (Pandorabots 2011). This project is being developed with the agreement of the Pandorabots Inc management and we would like to acknowledge their support. ( Pandorabots )

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After you have had a play with Atomic and Romeo please use this link to leave a comment.
Maybe you could suggest a topic of conversation or a layout suggestion.
All suggestions gratefully received.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PhD Topic - Development of humour in artificial intelligence agents.


This project is composed of two parts: a creative project; and, an exegesis. The following sections will describe the planned development trajectory for the creative project and outline the contents and contribution of the exegesis. A chatbot (chatter-robot, talk-bot, or simply, bot) is a computer-based conversational agent that simulates natural language conversation. The creative project will develop a pair of online chatbots that will interact as ‘comedian’ and ‘straight man’ when a human user delivers a topic.

The project is uniquely positioned to offer an examination of the unstable frontier between the human and non-human. It is an interrogation of the scriptwriting process as it is applied in a new media, online environment as a confluence of human and non-human agency. The rationale for concentrating on humour is that “Humour is by far the most significant behaviour of the human mind” (de Bono 1990, p.13). Simon Critchley argues, “humour is an anthropological constant… There has been no society thus far discovered that did not have humour (2002, p.28). The exploration of humour provides the opportunity to explore “what it means to be human by moving back and forth across the [unstable] frontier that separates humanity from animality” and by extension, the frontier between the human and the non-human in general (2002, p.28). Henri Bergson in his seminal essay on laughter stated a “new law” of humour, “We laugh every time a person gives us the impression of being a thing” (Bergson 2005, p.28, Original Publication 1911).

This project integrates human agency (the scriptwriter and the scriptwriting process) with the non-human agency of the artificial intelligence of chatbots (the interface and the scripted processes). As such, it tests if Bergson’s law will stand if it is inverted; will we laugh every time a thing gives the impression of being a person? Further, and importantly, it examines the unstable frontier between the human and the non-human to offer an insight into the boundary negotiation at the frontier.

This then frames the primary research question: What processes does the new media scriptwriter need to employ when developing a singular assemblage that exists at the unstable frontier between the human and non-human.

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