TriadCity Message of the Day

Our automated Help robot has been significantly upgraded.

The new version is built from a more flexible chatterbot engine called "A.L.I.C.E.", allowing it to do a much better job responding to user input. Have a look at for more technical details. Key thing from our point of view is that, over time, Help should be able to answer questions increasingly more accurately.

You should note that this improvement should become more and more visible over time. We monitor Help's conversation logs carefully, and, each time it's stumped by a user question, we tweak its rule set to include that question. This is a slow process, but, as it continues, Help becomes better and better able to respond to real-world interactions.

Help currently understands about 3,500 individual questions. We don't know how many it will need to know before it'll be considered clearly and unambiguously useful by one and all. Could be ten times that many. Keep those questions coming, that's how it improves.

If you're paying very close attention, you'll note some subtle personality changes too. It's a little more formal, and a lot less prone to sarcasm. We thought this might seem more appropriate to the really really lost.

Watch this space for the enhanced Marvin, coming soon. Note also that Oscar, long-promised, will be delivered in a day or two.

We plan to deploy a Web interface to all of our bots, allowing users to interact with them directly from the Web site. In a way this will turn Help into an interactive index to the Players' Guide; and it'll allow us to program some pretty sophisticated new robots which will live outside of TC altogether. We'll let you know when the new interface is ready.

And now...drumroll...the chatterbot news you've all been waiting for... The new code base allows TC's NPCs to yack yack as well. Now, don't get too excited. It takes a lot, we mean a lot of work to set these things up. So TC's talking NPCs will come online quite slowly, and at first will have extremely limited interactions. Along with everything else, they'll grow over time. We'll post another note when the first of these are ready.

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