Brief History of Chatbots


Chatbots and Chatterbots

The history of chatbots reflects the ongoing pursuit of creating intelligent, conversational agents that can effectively interact with users in natural language.

Advances in AI and machine learning continue to push the boundaries of what chatbots can achieve.

Early Developments (1950s-1960s)

In the 1950s and 1960s, the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) and interactive computing began to take shape. Alan Turing proposed the Turing Test as a measure of machine intelligence. However, initial attempts at creating conversational programs were basic. In 1966 ELIZA, one of the earliest chatbots, simulating conversations with a psychotherapist.

Commercialization (1970s-1980s)

During the 1970s and 1980s, chatbots gained traction in academic and commercial spheres. Programs like PARRY, simulating a person with paranoid schizophrenia, and Racter, a creative writing bot, emerged. The 1990s saw the internet’s rise, leading to chatbots being used for customer service on websites. Microsoft’s Clippy in the late 1990s is a notable example.

Modern Advances (2010s-Present)

Advances in natural language processing and machine learning in the 2010s improved chatbot capabilities. AI-powered chatbots became prevalent in customer support and virtual assistants. The introduction of deep learning in 2015, exemplified by models like OpenAI’s GPT, marked a significant leap. Today, AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, continue to evolve, showcasing the ongoing development in conversational AI.

What Chatbots Say

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