close this bookVolume 6: No. 47
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View the documentVirtual personae

Julia the Chatterbot can be interviewed by telnet to, login "julia". You have to kind of go along with what Julia wants to talk about. For more info, see . Other virtual humans are available from Silicon Graphics Inc. ; the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation ; and Boston Dynamics . [Bill Park , 6/26/96.]

You can also chat with a computer at . [Dave Morris, 7/96.]

"Virtual Girlfriends" is a popular video game in Tokyo. Players steer a boy through high school, where he must look nice, get good grades, be popular, and win dates and love. "The fun lies in the process of finding out what makes a girl happy." [UPI. This is True, 6/16/96.] (There's an earlier game where men get to raise a daughter from infancy. Very popular.)

AIVR Corp. (Richardson, TX) offers several "virtual companions" that converse via natural language typing and PC sound card as you branch through photo sequences. About $40 for the G-rated versions, or $60 with sexually explicit conversations and scenes. "Our AI actually reacts to the sentence in much the same way that a human being would." The Girlfriend personalities understand psychology and their bodies, clothing, and apartments, and can learn words and personal facts (retained between sessions). Free catalog from , (214) 235-4999, (214) 235-4992 Fax. [, 6/26/96.]

(The company is also available for custom programming of NL front ends and AI reasoning in games. Contact <[email protected]>. Dave Morris first developed an NL database query system for banks, then wrote a program for ham radio packet modem that impersonated him and conversed about ham radio equipment, antennas, transceivers, modems, etc. (and then printed a QSL postcard). He claims that his current software is far beyond the Loebner Prize Competition demos at .)

For Microsoft research into life-like characters, see the brief description and .wav download at . [Dave Morris, 7/96.]

-- Ken