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History of chatbots: how chatbots evolved

Chatbots can trace their history back decades, but it was not until Internet use became more common that chatbots as we recognize them today began to be used to support functions. customer service.

Here's a breakdown of some of the most significant moments defined in chatbot history:

Turing test, 1950

The Turing test asks whether machines can think, and was posed in 1950 by Alan Turing in his landmark 1950 article, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." In the document, Turing proposed a test where an interrogator had to determine which player was a human and which machine through a series of written questions.

Despite the reviews and flaws, the test is still performed regularly today.

ELIZA, 1966

In 1964, MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum began development on ELIZA, which would become the first machine capable of speaking using natural language processing.

Named after Eliza Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, ELIZA has managed to trick a lot of people into believing they are talking to a human simply by substituting their own words in scripts and sending them back to users to keep the conversation going.

PARRY, 1972

In the early 1970s, psychiatrist Kenneth Colby took the principles behind ELIZA one step further. With the introduction of PARRY, Colby adopted more of a chat conversation strategy than ELIZA in using a model of someone with paranoid schizophrenia to help increase the credibility of responses. 

Racter, 1984

RACTER, the "artificially mad" storyteller, was written by William Chamberlain and Thomas Etter. It seems that the book "The beard of the policeman" was written by the chatbot Racter. However, Racter has never been made public.

Jabberwacky, 1988

The chatbot Jabberwacky was developed  by British programmer Rollo Carpenter. It was one of the first attempts to create AI through human interaction. The chatbot was designed to "simulate the natural human cat in an interesting, entertaining and humorous way."

Loebner Prize, 1990

The Loebner Prize was started in 1990 by Hugh Loebner. It takes the format of a standard Turing test with judges awarding the most humane computer program.

Dr Sbaitso, 1991

Dr Sbaitso was a computerized psychologist chatbot with a digital voice designed to talk to you. It was an artificial intelligence text-to-speech development created by Creative Labs to show off the sound card's then impressive array of digitized voices.

ALICE, 1995

ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) also called Alicebot, or simply Alice, is a natural language processing chatbot developed in 1995, which has won the Loebner three times. the ELIZA was the source of inspiration for Alice

Elbot, 2000

Elbot is the cheeky chatbot who uses sarcasm and wit, with a healthy dose of irony and his own artificial intelligence to entertain humans. The chatbot was developed by Fred Roberts and Artificial Solutions. In 2008, Elbot was on the verge of hitting the 30% traditionally required for a program to be deemed to have passed the Turing test.

Smarterchild, 2001

Smarterchild was developed by ActiveBuddy Inc. It was available on the AOL Instant Messenger MSN messaging networks. The chatbot offered a fun personalized conversation and was considered a precursor to Apple's Siri and Samsung's S Voice.

Mitsuku, 2005

Mitsuku is a chatbot developed by Steve Worswick from AIML technology. He has won the Loebner Prize five times (in 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). Mitsuku claims to be a teenage chatbot from Leeds, England. Her knowledge includes the ability to reason with particular objects, play games, and do magic.

IBM Watson, 2006

Named after IBM's first CEO, Thomas, J. Watson, Watson was originally developed to compete on the US TV show “Jeopardy! ”, Where he beat two of the former champions in 2011. Watson has since switched to using natural language processing and machine learning to reveal information from large amounts of data.

Siri, 2010

Siri first came to public attention in February 2010 when it was released as a new iPhone app. Apple then bought the company and integrated the voice assistant into the iPhone 4S when it was released in October 2011, definitively introducing the applications

Google Now, 2012

Google Now was developed by Google, created specifically for the Google mobile search app. It uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by passing requests to a set of web services.

Alexa, 2015

Before Amazon introduced Alexa, Siri was probably the most popular smartphone voice assistant. Already accustomed to giving commands to their phones, Alexa captured the imagination of consumers and launched the now huge market for smart home speakers.

Cortana, 2015

In 2015, Microsoft created Cortana, an intelligent personal assistant developed. Cortana recognizes natural voice commands, can set reminders, and answer questions using the Bing search engine.

Bots for Messenger: Facebook Chatbots, 2016

With Facebook's launch of their messaging platform, they have become the leading chatbot program. In 2018, there were over 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook's Messenger platform.

Tay, 2016

Tay was a chatbot created by Microsoft to mimic the speech and habits of an American teenage girl. The chatbot sparked controversy and was only shut down 16 hours after launch, when it started posting offensive tweets and grew increasingly paranoid.

Woebot, 2017

Woebot developed by Woebot Labs is an AI-enabled therapy chatbot designed to help users discover their emotions through "smart mood tracking".

2020 and beyond

Expect businesses to plan for an intranet of conversational AI applications that can work together seamlessly and share information.