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What is a Chatterbot?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2014
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    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Chatterbots are programs that are designed to offer an electronic interaction with humans that is somewhat similar to the conversation or chatter that takes place between two people. Utilized in a number of applications, the chatterbot is intimately involved with online gaming and other programs where the actions and verbal communications of a human being impact the responses made by the computer program. This type of program enhancement can help to make various applications friendlier for many users.

Sometimes known as talk bots, chat bots, or even chatterboxes, the chatterbot functions as a conversational agent. Online gaming is one example of programs where the device helps to create a more attractive environment and entices the human player to enter into a game. Even if there are no other human players participating, the chatterbot provides conversation based on what the individual chooses to say or do. While the interaction may lack the spontaneity of verbal communications between two human beings, the chatterbot does effectively mimic a flow of conversation and thus enhances the level of enjoyment derived from the activity.

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The chatterbot is part of the wider technology aimed at providing intelligent conversation tools in many types of electronic communication. Many companies make use of chatbot technology as a means of screening and qualifying inbound calls to customer support centers. The idea is that by using a chatterbot to handle more routine calls for assistance, live technicians or customer service personnel can spend more time focusing on clients with more detailed problems.

As the programming for chatterbot applications becomes more sophisticated, the idea of two chatterbots interacting with one another and having a conversation that is both logical and constructive becomes more of a possibility. The utilization of two or more chatterbots in this type of environment would make it possible for persons to have the devices interface with a chatterbot that is screening calls for a prospective customer or vendor, and allow the bots to gather relevant data from one another. This would allow managers and other personnel to review the archived conversational exchange at their leisure, and then initiate a person-to-person contact if interested in doing so.

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