The Amstrad User
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This is a new version that is less inflexible than other BASIC editions, in fact it produces quite a passable imitation of an intelligent, if very non-committal conversation, with only an occasional lapse from correct grammar.

When it first came out a lot of quite ridiculous comment was provoked about the imminent advent of "artificial intelligence", in fact ELIZA or ELIZA-like programs are still sometimes cited in discussions about AI. In fact of course it is nothing but a parlour trick. It is however quite an amusing one - and a grand thing to show non-computing friends (preferably with a suitably mysterious build up).

If you do not feel like typing in 37k of code - worry not The program will work reasonably well, and certainly be quite amusing, with a drastically pruned "Keys$(N)" array. In other words if you can type in the operational core of the program (lines 10-1760) and the shorter sets of data then it is quite possible to make a selection of the DATA lines between 1850 and 3740. The three lines that will need changing to correspond with the number of keywords or phrases in use are 570 (the read line), 1190 (which matches one word input) and 1300 (controlling the main matching loop). In each of these the number "190" will need changing to the number of keys you have in place.

Another point is that the REM lines, while they should be quite helpful in identifying which part of the program does what, are all quite optional as far as you typing them in is concerned, as none are used as "addresses" by GOTO or GOSUB statements.

Assuming that you will probably want to edit the DATA at least in order to substitute your own family jokes for ours; the following explanations are in order. Upper and lower case, and the presence or absence of trailing and leading spaces in the DATA strings ARE significant, and must be typed in exactly as shown, (although you are at liberty to correct my spelling!).

Also note that the key words and responses are in sets - the key word or phrase itself in UPPER CASE, and the four responses in normal mixed upper and lower case. These responses are of two different kinds - the first constitute a complete reply in themselves, and are terminated with a punctuation mark, whereas the second, more interesting type take a portion of the user's input to complete the reply, these responses end abruptly, with no punctuation. Some very peculiar results will appear if these arc not typed in exactly as they arc listed.

Another thing to watch is the actual order in which the keywords are arranged. Since the program scans the list from top to bottom, and chooses the first key word or phrase it comes to this order is obviously significant. Most importantly, a key word or phrase that is a subset of another must occur LATER in the list, or it will effectively blank out the longer key altogether. For example the key word YOU" on its own must come after the key word "YOUR" as well as any key phrases containing containing "YOU" (e.g. "YOU ARE").

Finally, an apology is probably required for the bad language in some of the DATA lines. It is an unavoidable fact, however, that many people seem to enjoy swearing at the computer, and it is fun if the computer responds appropriately. My twelve year old son (The "Robert" of the insult list), is responsible for the choice of words - if they are a bit rough for your taste simply substitute milder ones. In any case note that the program never swears itself, and the data concerned is for recognition purposes only. (In the interests of our younger readers and others who could be offended we have removed some words from lines 3840 3850 and 4000. For everyone else, you now know where to put them back!)

Finally a brief note on how to use the finished program. The situation is that you are visiting your computer psychiatrist. You answer her questions, and ask your own, in completely natural language, in fact you will get much more amusing responses if you use proper conversational sentences. Punctuate any sentences normally, and use upper or lower case as you will.



AUTHOR: Paul Gerard

★ YEAR: 1986


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.