[MUD-Dev] Respecting NPCs

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.COM
Thu Oct 25 22:01:42 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> From: Matthew Estes <tos at maintree.com>

> Have you ever heard of SHRDLU, look it up. It wasn't a chatterbot,
> more of a hybrid expert system kind of thing. It was a "robot"
> that existed in a block world(like pyramids and cubes), you could
> ask it questions about the blocks and ask it to do manipulations
> on the blocks in plain English.  For the most part, it responded
> fairly sensibly and was seemingly intelligent. It worked in a
> vastly different way than chatterbots do, as it had a "semantic
> model" of the world that it could use to make logical
> inferences(think Prolog). It could handle quite a bit of
> ambiguity, and would ask good questions if you didn't give it
> enough information. I've searched for more info about how it
> worked and apparently there has further work in that direction,
> but I don't know how it went.

> Anyway, SHRDLU appeared shortly after Eliza, and was more
> "serious" of the sort that Minsky would be refering to. I guess it
> was sort of an expert system and gets pretty deeply into the
> knowledge representation area too.

A good reference for SHRDLU is Terry Winograd's "Understanding
Natural Language", Academic Press, 1972. Dated, but still a seminal
work. Should be in the library of every Comp. Sci. department.

I think the whole idea of "expert system" hadn't been concocted at
the time, so the comparison seems a bit odd.

Experience should guide us, not rule us.

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.COM
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