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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Today, after changing the Flash interface so that it generates a random set of sign-off lines, I started work on adding random elements to the AIML files.
This really speaks to the heart of the project - I'm structurally adding randomness, trying to balance structure and agency. Sure everything that comes out of Atomic and Romeo is scripted (that's part of my agency as a scriptwiter) but the order of the lines and the way the lines relate to one another is emergent (that's part of how AIML and the Pandorabots brain works). There is no Cartesian dualism. It is never going to be a matter of brain verses mind. Rather, they are complementary: brain~mind.
The particular job I've been doing is dealing with what happens when Atomic (as he always gets the first response to the user's input) doesn't know how to respond to the topic. He initially says, "I have no answer for that". I'm happy to keep that machine-like answer.
The conversation then goes:
Romeo :  That's unlike you Atomic - you always have an answer for everything.
Atomic :  You - you know fuck nothing - me, I know fuck all!
Atomic's line, when thrown to Romeo as an input, hits a random list on of five possible replies. Each of these head the conversation off in a unique direction. Further down the conversation Atomic explains where that particular expression came from. It too is used as a branching point by giving Romeo another pair of random responses.
Atomic :  An old Yugoslavian bloke used that expression all the time.
Romeo :  Nice turn of phrase.
 This leads to a discussion of odd workplace expressions.
Atomic :  An old Yugoslavian bloke used that expression all the time.
Romeo :  There is something I should tell you about Yugoslavia.
This leads to a childish fight about which of the characters is more like a machine.

Getting a good flow of responses to topics that are not explicitly covered is crucial. On the basis of statistics and probability there will always be more topics that are unknown to Atomic and Romeo than ones that are explicitly scripted and known.

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