Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pandorabots CallMom™ Mobile Virtual Assistant

Pandorabots is pleased to announce the beta release of our new CallMom app for Android. CallMom is a mobile, voice-activated personal assistant that can have a conversation, dial a number, send an email or SMS message, learn contacts, provide help with the app, search the web, open a URL in a browser, read data from web services, check battery status, give directions and find a location on the map -- all through natural langauge, voice commands.

Unlike other virtual assistant apps for Android and iPhone, CallMom includes a learning feature so that it can learn your personal preferences and contacts, and be taught to correct speech recognition errors. CallMom can be connected to a variety of pandorabot personalities, including ALICE, Mitsuku, Zoe, Fake Captain Kirk and others.

The CallMom app utilizes Pandorabots to respond to natural langauge inputs. The knowledge content is written in AIML (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language) and the responses are completely customizable. In what represents the first major extension to the AIML language in years, we've created a set of AIML tags called "Out of Band" (OOB) tags to process device actions.

Also unlike other virtual assistant apps, we've made the CallMom knowledge base completely open source. Hosted on a Google Code project, the CallMom AIML is freely available to anyone wishing to create his own custom CallMom personality. We've already attracted a significant body of contributions to this resource from our AIML development community.

The CallMom is now available free in the Android Market, with limited learning features. A premium upgrade is underway which will make the learned knowledge persistent.

You can read more on the app About Page.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Chatbots 3.2 Conference Report

Each year for the past three years, the leaders of the chatbots field have gathered together to present their latest work at the Chatbots 3.x conference.  This year, the conference, held in Philadelphia on March 31, 2012, was a huge success.  We had 30 attendees and 11 high quality presentations.  The conference was also another great opportunity to meet and talk with like-minded chatbot professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.

Some of the most exciting developments revealed this year were in the area of mobile apps.  Apple did us all a favor by releasing Siri last year.  A few people remarked that it's no longer necessary to explain to people what a chatbot is because everyone knows what Siri is.   Pandorabots announced the upcoming release of CallMom, a mobile virtual assistant based on AIML.   We also heard about vritual reference desk librarians, bots that reason and access databases, new scripting languages, bots promoting political candidates, lifelike avatars, general artificial intelligence, chatbot standards, and applications in ESL.

Our host Francis Taney, Esq. gave an excellent "Ask the Lawyer" presentation where he answered questions posed in advance by our speakers.  Although many of these questions were concerned with intellectual property issues, this year saw a significant increase of interest in the issue of data privacy.  Mr. Taney outlined the various state, federal and foreign statutes and regulations that impact storing and sharing personal information.

The presentations were videotaped and will be available on Youtube.  We will also post links to the speaker's slides and videos here as they become available:



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