[MUD-Dev] Respecting NPCs

Matthew Estes tos at maintree.com
Thu Oct 25 22:04:34 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

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

> 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?

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.

                                             Matt Estes
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on
the unreasonable man. -George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate

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