I got a clue from Dedric Mauriac, and found Social Autopoiesis sitting there on a park bench on the isle of Discordia. So I joined him, and got to talking, and after a time, he told me he was the son of Copybot. (Then again, he also claimed to be logging in from a leather bar in the Castro district.) Whatever the case, he's perhaps the first avatar-based, conversation-enabled, non-player character to enter Second Life-- a project stemming from libsecondlife, the admired (and occasionally vilified) initiative to create a reverse engineer version of the SL viewer. Making such 'bots as Autopoiesis possible.
Like any conversation with a chatbot powered by a limited database, dialog with Social Autopoiesis is apt to run off the rails, on occasion; watch this video, to see. (View with Windows Media player; intermittently ribald chat possibly not safe for work, unless you work in a steel mill.) Or have a chat with him yourself-- direct teleport here.
The "Social is a small project I came up with when I saw someone playing with libsecondlife bots in the Sanbox of Discordia," Adam Brokken tells me, with a creator's effusive zeal. "He is written in C# and uses libsecondlife and AIMLBot libraries; his current brain is scaled downfor testing purposes.
"As he is," Adam continues modestly, "he's not that remarkable, as I've seen [other] LSL implementations of AIML and the like since I first started in Second Life."
First up, he's hoping to train Social Autopoiesis for educational purposes.
"My main goal is to make him a useful addition to Second Life by adding in Torley Linden's marvelously updated Second Life knowledge base," he says, "and in general making him Second Life friendly, from teaching building skills, to explaining the many cliques in-world to those users who simply have noclue what they just saw or experienced. As libsecondlife adds more features and becomes more stable, I'd also like to add preprogrammed classes, that will do full step-by-step walk-throughs with new users, teaching them the ways of Second Life."
Adam Brokken's also working to make Social a fully-realized artificial intelligence, a creature that can better pass the Turing test. "I am also working on a method to have the bot remember conversations," as he puts it, "adding more animations based on responses, etc. [Whether] he will ever live up to his last name, time will tell." (That is to say, this.)
Adam recognizes the controversies that have swirled around reverse engineered avatars. "I know there has been much drama concerning 'bots' in Second Life," he acknowledges, "and they still do give some ill effects such as texture spamming. I myself have been hit a few times.
"However," he adds, "I hope this helps people see that bots are not inherently evil, and may in due time give us a very powerful tool."
Social hat tip: Dedric Mauriac. Musical score, as is often the case, provided by Torley, a track from his 230 track library which has become, in effect,
the my soundtrack of Second Life-- the cut heard here being "A Boy, An Umbrella, and the Wind".
Update, 4:15pm: Brokken writes to tell me Social's avatar was created by Hydrogen Excelsior-- his "HAV-1" avatar, available at "* H * Creation - Sky Castle" - Haebyon (58,32,231).