Research

How Chatbots Work -Draft

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series The State of Chatbots

The goal of a chatbot is to simulate the human use of language which brings up several questions. How do humans use language between themselves in similar settings? How can computers be made to understand natural language? How does the chatbot know what to reply to a user’s input? (Saygin et al., 2000). In overall terms, data is inputted by the user, parsed, pattern matching occurs, and a response is given. This section briey discusses computer-mediated communication, natural language processing by chatbots, and rule-based conversation for chatbots.

Human and chatbot interaction is a type of computer-mediated communication (CMC). Human-computer interactions such as chat servers, discussion forums, newsgroups and Internet relay chats are different from ordinary writing or speech (Kucukyilmaz, Cambazoglu, Aykanat, & Can, 2006). CMC between humans is shaped by the properties of the technological medium and the method in which the communication occurs (Herring & Zelenkauskaite, 2009). Therefore, human interactions with chatbots are also likely to be shaped by the medium in which they occur. For example, a user accustomed to typing short phrases in CMC with other humans may use similarly short phrases when interacting with a chatbot.

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