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Chatterbox Challenge > Botmasters > John A. Reder Go Back
Name: John A. Reder
Age: 36
Sex: Male
State: Cincinnati, Ohio
Country: USA
Chatterbots Omnibot
What gave you the idea of developing a bot?
The idea just came to me. I wanted to test a theory of mine that assumes that most of the content in a conversation is simply a regurgitation of statements that you have heard said before. Most of what people know come from all that they have read or heard and we simply file these informational tidbits in our mind until someone hits on that topic and we recall what we have heard regardless of its truthfulness or accuracy and sometimes relevancy. I thought how simple this would be to duplicate in a program that only knows how to relate data that it receives to other data that it has stored from previous conversations or purposefully poured into its database via a learn feature (to simulate reading a book for instance) and repeat it, this, it seemed would be a simple way to simulate a conversation.

Is creating bots a passion for you? A hobby?
This test was a passion for me at the time but I have moved on to the concept of automated self thinking robots. My latest passion and hobby is a game that I've written called A..I. Wars (The Insect Mind). This game allows its players to design their own Artificial Intelligence and plug it into a mechanized spider like robot called a Cybug that is then plopped into a battlefield simulator where it gets to compete against other robots for battlefield supremacy using its weapons, resources and even teammates to outsmart and destroy the others in the simulator.

When did you start creating bots? Why?
Back in 1996, I have always been interested in A.I. and I guess I was inspired by sci-fi creations like HAL-9000, The Terminator and early chatterbot programs like ELISA.

What language is your bot programmed in?
Microsoft Visual Basic

How much time do you spend working on your bot per week/month/year?
I wrote it in 4 hours and tweaked it for a week then put it on the network at work for a month and had friends play with it to build its initial demo database. I have made no modifications to it since because it is designed as a learning bot open to anyones application of it. It simply becomes what its users choose to make of it.

In your opinion, what are the best qualities of your bot?
It is entertaining and everyone from coworkers to my 11 year old niece have fond it quite funny. An interesting side effect was that after it was live on the office network for a few days it contained many comments that helped to enlighten my co-workers about how they were viewed by other co-workers. If they asked OmniBotAI about themselves they were treated to nice and some not-so-nice comments about themselves. OmniBotAI repeats everything just like a little kid without regard for its audience.

What is your ultimate goal for your bot?
I offer the source for anyone who would like to pursue the ideas behind its design. At the time of its development they're weren't many other bots out there. My goal was to simply generate interest and spark creativity.

How do you see chatterbots being used in the future?
I like to see them used for intelligent advice, I kind of think of them as a search engine tied around a thinking mind.

Companionship, I think that simply talking to an intelligence that listens is therapeutic. I think that the human interactive component can be applied to future robots that will work with or for us and hopefully not against us.

Organizations like the FBI could create smart sounding ChildBots that could trick sexual predators over the internet into exposing themselves. Think of the possibility of having bots on every server that gather knowledge about people that they interact with creating databases that could be used by Law enforcement or corporations to gather data about potential clients or perps. Every IRC page could have among its human users a few specialized bots that help out in these areas. Imagine Bots fishing for bad people or sales leads on the net by convincing them to going to another chat rooms to continue their discussion and simply directing to a room monitored by law enforcement staff of sales staff to finish the task. One of the biggest complaints of law enforcement is that their resources are too thinly stretched in these areas. Just the thought of such technology existing could be a good deterrent to thouse who would consider these types of crimes.

Can chatterbots replace humans?
Only if humans let them.

What is your favorite bot memory?
Watching a co-worker discover that they weren't as cool as they thought they were by hearing what other co-workers really thought about them through OmniBotAI's innocent comments.

What was your worst bot moment?
Watching an untrained OmniBotAI get its facts confused, reminding my 34 year old mother of 2 co-worker that she was a 2 year old mother of 34 children.

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