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Talking Heads

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This story appears in the October 1998 issue of

Can a "talking" robot make your Web site friendlier and more useful? You bet. And that's just the thing San Francisco-based software company Neuromedia is recommending. It has commercialized a program for Web sites that utilizes "chatterbots," talking robots that appear to understand and respond intelligently to questions typed in free-form text.

In fact, chatterbots are no more intelligent than a potato. They're just cleverly programmed to recognize certain word patterns and then respond with scripted answers.

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