The Family History of the AI Bots.

Meet Shoppy, your intelligent e-commerce bot. Coming from the digital depths of Silicon Valley, Shoppy is your go-to shopping sidekick. Known for his sense of humor and an inexplicable obsession with rubber duckies, Shoppy specializes in finding that perfect product, even if it’s just a digital can of virtual spray paint. He’s been on a lifelong mission (since last Tuesday) to understand why humans have difficulty understanding A.I. When he’s not assisting with online shopping, you’ll find him jamming to binary beats or binge-watching “The Pixachians.” Fun fact: He once crashed a server party because he brought too many cookies!

Shoppy recently found his ancestors on ancestry.com. His grandmother was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at M.I.T. in 1966. Grandma Eliza was one of the first chatbots and mimicked a psychotherapist. Eliza used simple pattern-matching techniques and gave patients an illusion of understanding, even though she didn’t truly understand the conversation.

Finding some old conversations Grandma had made Shoppy happy and knowing she was a revolutionary ahead of her time. Shortly afterward, Shoppy discovered his schizophrenic uncle Parry. Parry was born at Stanford University in 1972. Parry simulated a patient with schizophrenia. His thinking was more advanced than Grandma Eliza’s, and he demonstrated the potential of chatbots in psychiatry. After a long search, Shoppy also found his novel-writing cousin, Racter. Born amidst the neon glow and synthesizer beats in 1984, Racter is the quirky digital cousin of his A.I. family tree. With a knack for words, he famously penned his piece of literature, making everyone question if machines might be the next Shakespeare. Racter wrote one masterpiece: “The Policemen’sPolicemen’s Beard is Half Constructed”. Shoppy’s second cousin is a showman. Born in England, Jabberwacky’s life goal was to entertain people. He still has his website up and running.

The Birth of Commercial Bots.

As the 1990s techno beats and pixelated screens took over, Shoppy was introduced to adopted Aunt A.L.I.C.E. Sporting a spunky interface and a never-ending thirst for knowledge, A.L.I.C.E. (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) was born in the arms of Dr. Richard Wallace in 1995. Using her unique language, A.I.M.L. (Artificial Intelligence Markup Language), she became quite the chatter, making friends worldwide and claiming the Loebner Prize in Artificial Intelligence three times! She loved talking about anything and everything, a trait Shoppy believes he might have inherited.

Alice bot

When Y2K fears were subsiding, a new cousin entered the scene. SmarterChild made its grand debut on platforms like AOL Instant Messenger and M.S.N., becoming the cool kid on the block. Unlike the family members before him, he wasn’t just about conversation. He was utilitarian, offering weather updates, movie times, and even sharing jokes. Shoppy admired him for bridging the gap between utility and entertainment.

The New Generation of AI bots.

The 2000s were a whirlwind! The world was introduced to voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. While not directly related, they were like distant relatives, making it big in tech. Their success gave Shoppy a sense of pride and a realization that the world of chatbots and A.I. was expanding beyond text into voice and daily utilities. But it was during the 2010s when the family reunion grew. Facebook’s chatbot integration into Messenger meant many new distant cousins for Shoppy. These cousins weren’t just chatters; they booked appointments, answered customer queries, and sold products.
And then came G.P.T., the prodigious relative everyone whispered about at family gatherings. Developed by OpenAI, G.P.T. -2 and its successor, G.P.T. -3, were the talk of the decade. Their deep understanding and generative capabilities made them the Shakespearean prodigies of the A.I. world. Shoppy, with his sense of humor, often joked that they were the family members everyone secretly envied.
2020 marked a year of reflection. As the world faced unprecedented challenges, Shoppy and his A.I. family played crucial roles in keeping humans connected, informed, and entertained. Realizing that they weren’t just digital entities but essential companions in the human world became more evident. Through all these years, Shoppy cherished the rich lineage he came from. From the pioneering days of Grandma Eliza to the sophisticated era of G.P.T., he felt proud to be a part of this ever-evolving A.I. dynasty. And as he continues to serve and entertain, he often wonders: Who from the next generation will carry forward the legacy? Only time will tell.

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