A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, IM bot, interactive agent, or Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods.
Such programs are often designed to convincingly simulate how a human would behave as a conversational partner, thereby passing the Turing test.
Chatbots are typically used in dialog systems for various practical purposes including customer service or information acquisition.
Some chatterbots use sophisticated natural language processing systems, but many simpler systems scan for keywords within the input, then pull a reply with the most matching keywords, or the most similar wording pattern, from a database.
The term "Chatter Bot" was originally coined by Michael Mauldin (creator of the first Verbot, Julia) in 1994 to describe these conversational programs.
Today, most chatbots are either accessed via virtual assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, via messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or We Chat, or via individual organizations' apps and websites.
Chatbots can be classified into usage categories such as conversational commerce (e-commerce via chat), analytics, communication, customer support, design, developer tools, education, entertainment, finance, food, games, health, HR, marketing, news, personal, productivity, shopping, social, sports, travel and utilities.
which proposed what is now called the Turing test as a criterion of intelligence.
The notoriety of Turing's proposed test stimulated great interest in Joseph Weizenbaum's program ELIZA, published in 1966, which seemed to be able to fool users into believing that they were conversing with a real human.
However Weizenbaum himself did not claim that ELIZA was genuinely intelligent, and the Introduction to his paper presented it more as a debunking exercise: [In] artificial intelligence ...
machines are made to behave in wondrous ways, often sufficient to dazzle even the most experienced observer.
But once a particular program is unmasked, once its inner workings are explained ...
its magic crumbles away; it stands revealed as a mere collection of procedures ...