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What Is an Artificial Intelligence Bot?

C.B. Fox
C.B. Fox

An artificial intelligence bot is a computer based program that is designed to interact with and mimic a human. These programs are also referred to as chat bots or chatterbots. In 2011, the technology used by artificial intelligence bots is not usually sophisticated enough to be mistaken for another human. Advancements in computer programing, however, do allow these programs to carry on simple conversations. These bots are often used by businesses to help with customer support needs, though they are common in entertainment as well.

Historically, the development of the artificial intelligence bot has relied on a computer’s ability to match patterns. The speech patterns that occur in conversation can be treated the same way as numerical patterns, to generate a computerized response to a human query or statement. The technology used by an artificial intelligence bot has been available since 1966, with the invention of ELIZA, and continues to be used today in programs such as the Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity (A.L.I.C.E.). This type of artificial intelligence bot can engage in conversation with a human by responding to the human’s input with natural-sounding language. The complexity of language and of context, however, makes many of the responses of these programs to human speech seem inane or non-sequential.

Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

The artificial intelligence bot technology used in ELIZA and A.L.I.C.E. is often used in customer service chat boxes on the internet. People can ask questions and get answers from the computer program, eliminating the need for a live customer support representative. In many cases, interacting with a computer program to receive an answer to a simple question provides a rapid response for the customer, while saving the company money. Unfortunately, this technology can also be used maliciously by hackers in an attempt to collect sensitive information from people.

In the 2000s, developments in artificial intelligence programs led to the artificial intelligence bot called Jabberwacky. This program was designed purely as entertainment and was created in order to mimic human interaction. In many cases, a human subject is unable to tell the difference between a conversation with the Jabberwacky program and a conversation with a live human. Eventually, the aim of this technology is to incorporate it into robots in order to make them interact more like humans. The technology is, in 2011, in its infancy, though advancements continue to be made.

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