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Friday, November 5, 2010

Blue World Notes: Meet Suzette, the Blue Mars Bot that Won Artificial Intelligence's Famed Loebner Prize

"Suzette" is the name of the program which just won 2010's famed Loebner Prize, inspired by artificial intelligence's classic Turing test. You can talk with her on the web here, but she was actually created as a bot for Blue Mars, the 3D social world, where you can now meet and speak with her in person. She's in the Welcome Area waiting for you: Once you've donwloaded the free software, this link will take you there.

For someone so famous, Suzette may seem shy at first -- for one thing, she's standing in the shadows near a reflecting pool. But if you get up close to her (say ten feet), you'll find her fairly chatty. She's not a fan of celebrity gossip (as the screenshot above suggests), but she does like talking about the weather:

Created for Avatar Reality by Bruce Wilcox, who describes her as "a Blue Mars Replicant... originally intended for use as a terraform engineer", which had some trouble during the personality upload process. Which might explain why Suzette sometimes says strange things that don't exactly follow. (Also, the Blue Mars Suzette is based on an earlier iteration of the program that ultimately won the Loebner.) But at least for me, when it comes to flirting, she firmly plays hard to get. Or make that weird to get:

If you log out after talking with her and come back later, she'll remember who you are.

Technically speaking, Suzette tries to match text you say to a topic she knows and puts out conversation related to the subject. She's built on a language called Chat-L and C. To run her in Blue Mars, a Java bot connects to a C bot on the web. Much of the code that makes Suzette possible is available to Blue Mars developers who want to build chatbots of their own: Here's the main page for Blue Mars AI, with the code for various bots available here.

What about Blue Mars should I write about next? Email and let me know: hamlet at bluemarsonline dot com.

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