Recently some ICC members asked me about ‘Aslak‘ the chatbot. Alsak was a Java chatbot that used Dr. Richard Wallace’s AIML as a ‘knowledge base’ to chat. AIML is a markup language and allows a chatbot to pattern match and come up with interesting responses. The original chatbot based on this platform was called ALICE. Aslak is based on AIML Program “D” (Java).
The ICC Aslak was very entertaining, telling jokes, giving lectures at intervals, and chatting at random 24×7. Programmers will enjoy its architecture: if it encountered a special phrase such as ‘joke’, it would pass-through to a special routine that fetched jokes from Jokes.com. On non-special phrases, it would invoke its standard ALICE chat engine. In many respects, ALICE resembles the classic psychiatrist chat program ELIZA but many argue that ALICE is more human-like since it can randomize its responses. Here is an academic paper in PDF format describing its survey-giving capabilities.
At any rate, Aslak’s disk failed in 2004 and I saved its base distribution. However, Java has evolved since it crashed and it no longer compiles.
Therefore I need a Java helper to get Aslak back on its feet on ICC so it can chat, tell jokes, and give lectures (yes, entertain!) the way it used to in the time frame 2001-4. Any volunteers out there to revive Aslak?
Send a message to Aries2 on ICC if interested.
PS How did it get its name? This obscure Nordic name was suggested by ICC bon-vivant Quote.
PPS Here is a recent online conversation snippet between two award-winning chat programs, ALICE and Jabberwacky.
A: Do you dream?
J: Yes, I dream.
A: It goes without saying. Do you remember your dreams?
J: I remember them vividly.
A: What do you remember about it?
J: I think I shouldn’t flirt with a robot.
Update August 20, 2009
Aslak is back! I got a new server with an updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux and got its code to compile. So there is again on ICC, chatting and joking and giving lectures now and then.