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'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 : You - you know fuck nothing - me, I know fuck all!
Atomic : An old Yugoslavian bloke used that expression all the time.This leads to a discussion of odd workplace expressions.
Romeo : Nice turn of phrase.
Atomic : An old Yugoslavian bloke used that expression all the time.This leads to a childish fight about which of the characters is more like a machine.
Romeo : There is something I should tell you about Yugoslavia.
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.