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Chatbots Explained
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Botson, at the top of your screen, is a chatbot - a computer program designed to simulate conversation through a variety of methods. Botson doesn't understand what you're saying, of course, but has been given a "brain" and a pattern-based system of responding to language that can make him seem quite bright.

Chatbots (or, in short, "bots") are computer programs which are designed to converse as much like people as their programming allows. In many ways, they are the embodiment of Turing's vision.
 
Chatbots are designed to seem human
Chatbots are simple to use; you "chat" textually with the bot over a computer screen. The bot usually introduces itself. You respond with a statement or question. The bot consults its knowledge base or programming language and replies. The conversation continues as long as it is interesting or useful for the human.
 
There are hundreds of different bots, developed for a variety of reasons; they range from hardwired programs with simply coded patterns to systems built upon embedded learning algorithms which continuously expand their language knowledge base. Bots are created purely for fun or as part of interactive games, Internet information services, web site guides, e-commerce agents and more. Many bots are designed to provide specific information and direct the dialogue to specific topics. Chatbot Review  Related Article
 
There are many different kinds of bots
Some bots recognize key words; some recognize phrases and others handle whole sentences. Underneath most bots is a "state machine," a kind of programming construct designed to follow logical principles of the form: if x is recognized then do y (y could be either a verbal, textual response or an action). The more sophisticated learning bots employ learning algorithms, which give the bot a means to remember information and use it in further responses. These enable the bot to expand its knowledge by learning new sequences of language from its users. The bot learns whole phrases, words, or smaller units of language and constantly expands its capabilities.