Facebook is putting a lot of effort into making chatbots sound more realistic, but at the same time interesting enough to people who interact with them.
If you’ve found that chatbots still sound a tad too “unnatural,” you’d be right. Even Facebook researchers have agreed that they lack personality. That’s why engineers at the company are working hard to help train the A.I. with thousands of lines of dialogue, in an attempt to give chatbots more distinct “personalities.”
The way they are doing this is far from simple in its implementation, but it is based on a simple idea: constructing consistent personalities with biographies. Essentially, engineers are working on teaching the A.I.s to be someone – a specific person who will act in a certain way because of specific characteristics and character traits.
Up until now, lots of A.I.s use movie scripts to create dialogue, and as we know movie dialogue isn’t always the best example of realistic dialogue. However, while not as “fluent” or personality-driven, users actually found “movie script” A.I.s more interesting. This just goes to show that “personality goes a long way,” as it’s convincing enough, but not always interesting enough.
Bridging the two approaches would probably help, but it might be some time until A.I.s will be sophisticated enough to sound fluent and interesting at the same time.
In any case, chatbots are improving, and Facebook is throwing resources at developing them further – especially in terms of being able to hold a normal conversation.