[MUD-Dev] Respecting NPCs

Travis Nixon tnixon at avalanchesoftware.com
Thu Oct 25 14:58:35 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

From: "Sami Kosonen" <sami.k.kosonen at welho.com>
> From: J C Lawrence

>> Cruel mockeries of sapience.

> Has anyone tryed to use chatbots to give more humanlike speaking
> experience when dealing with NPCs? I'm not sure, but you could
> maybe do different kinds of personalities by modifying what words
> they use, how they response (agressive, passive, nervous etc.),
> how broad their voculabulary is and so on. There are some free
> bots to use and with right modifications they might be useful.

Pardon me, but did you just try to use chatbots as an example of
something less of a "Cruel mockery of sapience"?

Have you ever actually tried to talk to one?


That technology has a LONG way to go before it's even remotely
viable.  And the current chatbot path is probably a dead-end anyway.
Read up on the basics of how Eliza and Alice work.  They are
basically a big huge list of pre-programmed responses, combined with
a particularly irritating form of rephrasing statements into
questions.  Give the same input, you get the same response.  There's
not a whit of anything even remotely approaching understanding
there, and only even the barest bones of language parsing.

In fact, the very existence of chatbots, the fact that people work
on them, is a source of irritation to many AI researchers (such as
Marvin Minsky) who would prefer people to concentrate thought and
effort on lines of thought that are actually capable of producing a
useful result.  (useful being used here assuming a goal of
conversational-level AI, as opposed to parrots, which is what
chatbots are and always will be)

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