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Found at http://www.alicebot.org, alicebot is a chat-bot, which can respond to questions and statements. The creators of alice have put in a few jokes, such as
<What is the meaning of life?
Actually, it's twenty-three, not forty-two.
Hmmm. Ha-ha.

Alicebot is a rather interesting piece of AI software, from A.L.I.C.E. AI Foundation.

At least to me, it actually seemed semi-intelligent until I saw an error message telling that it had no idea. =) In most cases, it parses well...

I guess this bot has potential - it even won the Loebner Prize in year 2000 (ranked "most human computer" by the judges).

Alicebot's current incarnation ("Program D") was written in Java. To specify its consciousness, you can use XML-derived language called AIML (the bot, of course, has nothing to do with Eliza and AOLiza =). It is very much due to the large amount of AIML code that the bot appears "intelligent" - the thing is flexible enough for making all sorts of expert systems.

Best of all, the bot is distributed under GPL... so if you need to amuse people on your website by building a virtual Elvis or something (like someone did with alicebot), it's a good pick. At least it's smarter than MegaHAL...

The bot also comes with AIM, IRC, ICQ and Jabber connections out of the box. Be very careful with whom you talk with =)

Alice> Your crude attempt to terminate me will not succeed puny human.

- Alicebot, reply to command line command "quit"
(type "exit" instead to shut down the bot.)

There's also an Alicebot plug-in for phpBB (still in beta at this time of writeup), that can be installed on your forums. phpBB is a GPL forum software too.

Having installed one and played with it, I have to say that it has poor grammatical understanding to casual forum language. Maybe it's because it's used mostly for responding to one-line messages, and not forum messages. It also often mistakes multiple words for a single noun, because of some flaws. Maybe it'll be better in the future.

What you need to get an alicebot running on your phpBB board
(-) A server that can run PHP and mySQL
(-) PHP 4.04 :: http://www.php.net
(-) mySQL 3.23x :: http://www.mysql.com
(-) phpBB :: http://www.phpbb.com/
(-) AliceBot phpBB plugin
\\\\\\\ Project Website
\\\\\\\ Direct Download link
\\\\\\\ This is the thread of the forum AI (alicebot)
\\\\\\\ Note that it is still in development. (beta)
note :: If your host uses cPanel or some other webhosting service application that can install phpBB instantly, you can do that instead.

Now, after you downloaded the file and filled the above reqs, you have to open the package for the instruction file. I am not going to cover it here as it is massive, but basically it mostly involves copying and pasting lines of php code add-ons to the phpBB php scripts.

The instruction mostly tells you to find a line of code, and to copy and paste a specific code onto it. This should be easy, but a single mistake can leave with a disfunctional php file. So, remember to BACKUP. You'll need a text editor, preferably ones that has syntax highlighting and a search function.

Once you've done so, test the alicebot to see if it works. It's not "smart" yet, in the context of it's knowledge of words, you'll have to load aiml files onto it. The link to the forum AI thread has collection of links to sites with collections of aim files. Beware that the aiml size could take a lot of space (megabytes and megabytes of them)

So that's about it. The rest should be covered with the instructions included. But you're wondering what you'd ever want a bot for? Well here's a list:
(-) Make an automatic moderator that warns users not to say a specific word (say, some taboo issues)
(-) Make the bot welcome people (automessage to new members), and the new members can even ask questions which you have set answers for. (see next)
(-) Make an automatic answering machine to commonly asked questions for people who are lazy to look at faqs. This can be done by editing your own AIML files. It's not rocket science.
(-) Have fun with it. This was my only reason to get it working on my board. Be aware that putting a pretty avatar on it, and putting a girl's name can lead to guys fantasizing (especially in forums populated by younger people).

By the way, the author, zemaj, hasn't been too active lately, the project has been pretty much left out. Back in the time that he did this project, he was actually doing high school final year, and still got 99.3 UAI (very very high mark, can enter law @ UNSW with it). Talk about prodigies...

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