I am the psychobabbler. Please, describe your problems.

Want to talk to Neil?

Neil sure likes to talk to new people. Just add
to your buddy list and introduce yourself!
Neil is a little experimental project of mine. Some people like to call him a chatterbot; I prefer to refer to him as a psychobabbler. You can talk to him by pointing an AIM client at TheNeilBot. Talk to him, tell him about yourself. Become friends. But please use complete sentences with him, and treat him as if he was a real person. It makes him that much more fun for other people.

In reality, Neil is a little program that tries to "learn" to speak. The method I used to create him was heavily inspired by a couple other chatterbots, most notably gNiall. gNiall, in turn, was inspired by Niall (sorry, no link). So I don't profess to take credit for the basic ideas behind Neil. I only put them together with some of my own thoughts into my own implementation.

Neil works by creating associations between the words you tell him. For example, if you say to him "I like cheese.", Neil will learn that "I" can begin a sentence, "cheese." can end a sentence, "like" can follow "I", and "cheese." can follow "like". After learning these connections, he picks a random word that he knows can start a sentence, chooses a random word he knows can follow that one, and continues choosing new followup words until he chooses a word that can end a sentence. At that point he tells you the profound statement he has just created.

If you think you are going to have a very deep and meaningful conversation with Neil, you will be disappointed. But if you play along with his weird responses, he sure can be entertaining.

Coming Real Soon Now: the return of the Neil Quote Database!