Friday, June 10, 2011
A topic word or a sentence?
I've been playing with Dick Trickster and Detayle Bhoy today. These guys are my proof of concept bots - the final ones may be the "Atomic Playboy" and the "Radiation Romeo" - more of that later...
Anyway, I'm debating whether to invite the user to put in a topic word, such as 'ducks' or 'climate change', and then have Detayle Bhoy ask Dick Trickster a pre-formed question like - What do you know about X? I could then concatenate the user's topic word, replacing the X, with the question to get something like - What do you know about ducks?
This has a couple of advantages. First it will be easier to train the initial responses as the vast majority of inputs will be nouns - concrete or otherwise. Second, the structure of the input as a question is an obvious conversation starter. The downside is that it may look a little contrived.
Allowing the user to put in a sentence, for example, 'How are you feeling today?' means that (in the current development) Detayle Bhoy picks up that sentence and delivers it to Dick Trickster. This is acceptable but it doesn't automatically start a conversation between to the two bots. The user, once they have asked the question is left out of the conversation - just a little alienating.
We'll see how it goes.