Brillig Understanding, Inc.
Virtual Patient - OSU - (web)
I wanted to introduce myself and our project. I work at Ohio State University in Columbus OH, USA and have been working for a number of years on creating Virtual Patients for medical education. Our patients were initially created in Second Life using AIML as our chatbot technology. We have recently switched to using Unity for avatar development and ChatScript to manage the dialogues.
We switched to ChatScript because, as our patients grew in complexity and number, it became increasingly difficult to scale the AIML and keep the conversations on track. We were generating >200,000 AIML patterns for each patient, and when running several patients simultaneously, the AIML server was struggling to keep up. We had created a database of the Q and A which generated an XML file that was automatically converted into AIML, so it was not an efficient generation of AIML but it worked reasonably well for very simple dialogues.
After looking at various options we decided to explore ChatScript as an alternative to our AIML system. We chose ChatScript because of the more understandable syntax, rapid development and debugging tools, and its versatility in managing the relative state of the conversation, which is critical for our application.
We debated the pros and cons of trying to re-code our existing AIML patterns into ChatScript syntax, but decided to create one patient from scratch using ChatScript to better understand the development process, and the strengths and weaknesses of the platform. Bruce has been incredibly magnanimous with his time and patient in answering many questions along the way, and has added many many enhancements to the software. Ultimately we were able to replace our AIML-based patients with Chatscript-based versions that are significantly more capable, and currently use only about 1500 rules. As patient/case complexity grows, we anticipate that our fully functional Virtual Patients will still utilize less than 5000 rules.
ChatScript has allowed us to easily manage multiple bots and rapidly design and develop new Virtual Patients with a variety of chief complaints for training medical students. We are using ChatScript as the core dialogue system for our research projects which are funded by the National Board of Medical Examiners and The National Institutes of Health.
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Meg – SpeakGlobal – (web/mobile)
SpeakGlobal, Ltd. was formed in 2011 with the idea of providing a forum for Japanese learners of English as a second language to practice English conversation. With the globalization of the world economy presenting opportunities that have never existed before, the ability to speak English has become a priority in many non-English speaking countries, especially in Asia. In Japan, where six years of English study is mandatory, the main focus in schools is reading and writing, with little emphasis on speaking and listening. Additionally, private English conversation schools can be costly.
After extensive research and testing comparing other Artificial Intelligence and technologies, Speakglobal has provided a unique and cost-effective alternative by combining the power of Chatscript, voice recognition, text-to-speech, and animation avatar technology, to create a series of online chatbots whereby learners of English as a foreign or second language can easily practice daily conversation.
Working closely with Bruce, Chatscript evolved into three unique chatbots for us, each with its own personality, backstory and set of interesting topics in which learners can practice with. Bruce has provided amazing support and guidance along the way and has been an incredible mentor for programming and development for our chatbots.
We are happy we chose Chatscript because of the ease in programming to customize the dialogues and rules, the logical structure and sequences of the program, and the ability to run it off our own server.
In 2013, SpeakGlobal launched its first mobile application for Android, featuring our Chatscript chatbot for English conversation practice, My American Friend (English version) and Let's英会話 (Japanese version).
President, SpeakGlobal, Ltd.
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