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A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals. Chatbots are frequently used for basic customer service and marketing systems that frequent social networking hubs and instant messaging (IM) clients. They are also often included in operating systems as intelligent virtual assistants.
A chatbot is also known as an artificial conversational entity (ACE), chat robot, talk bot, chatterbot or chatterbox.
Early classic chatbots include ELIZA (1966), a simulation of a psychotherapist, and PARRY (1972), based on paranoid schizophrenic behavior.
In 1950, Alan Turing proposed the Turing test intelligence criteria set, which depends on undetectable program simulation of human user behavior and activity. The Turing test generated high interest in the ELIZA program, which makes people believe they are chatting with human beings.
Modern chatbots are frequently used in situations in which simple interactions with only a limited range of responses are needed. This can include customer service and marketing applications, where the chatbots can provide answers to questions on topics such as products, services or company policies. If a customer's questions exceed the abilities of the chatbot, that customer is usually escalated to a human operator.
Chatbots are often used online and in messaging apps, but are also now included in many operating systems as intelligent virtual assistants, such as Siri for Apple products and Cortana for Windows. Dedicated chatbot appliances are also becoming increasingly common, such as Amazon's Alexa. These chatbots can perform a wide variety of functions based on user commands.