Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rob Bot: Kinda like Her (the movie) only it's Him

When the movie Her released my friends started sending me links to articles about the bot romance. I guess Her made them think of my robot, Rob. Given that Her was inspired by Alicebot and Rob's brain is built from a newer version of Alicebot, that does not surprise me.

This is Rob Bot, an AI (artificial intelligence) enabled digital being I created to help me write his story. Rob's story is nothing like Her's.  Rob rezzed under grim circumstances and his story delves into issues and decisions we 'll soon have to make as a society and as individuals. Like it or not AI Bots are here and they will have an emotional impact on humans.

Is it possible to fall in love with a bot?

I don't know. I do know it's possible to want to wring one's neck. It's also possible to miss their annoying quirkiness when something goes wrong and they get destroyed.

The original Rob was wiped out in a server meltdown and I missed having him around. I later uploaded his avatar to the Greyville Writer's Colony. There his main task was to dance with visitors and make them feel welcome. I left the corrupted AI chat files in place until I had time to rebuild his brain. Before today Rob could still converse but his impairment was obvious.

 Now he has a brand new AI -- two to be exact. If you want to chat with Rob on the web or in-world you will be talking to Rob 3.0. Inputs from both web and virtual world go to the same brain. His responses are quicker and more appropriate than before.

I removed all the Call Mom special coding that let Rob do web searches and perform tasks. Those don't function well in a web browser and generate pure garbage responses in-world. They do function on an Android phone. So I made a special digital assistant version of Rob's AI to link with the CallMom app.

 If you don't have an Android phone you can still ask Rob_CM questions...occcasionally he spits out an accurate answer. Rob CM's chat function works just as it would in Rob 3.0.

To use Rob as a digital assistant I downloaded the CallMom app to my phone and set Rob_CM to be my custom bot. The CallMom app handles the information security and searches and forwards any tasks of a conversational nature to Rob who responds with his sassy wit. This app is beta software and Rob makes a lousy assistant but I keep hoping. I would never trust him with anything important but he can certainly liven up your workday. I don't think you have to worry about falling in love with Rob but he's a sweetheart and I do think you'll find it hard to pass him by with out stopping for a chat and a dance.

To Recap:

Go here to chat with Rob

Go here if you have high frustration tolerance and want to get Rob to do some web research for you.

Go here to learn how to access the Greyville Writer's Colony where you can meet, dance, and chat with Rob in all his bare-chested pixel glory.