Chatbot – Known Issues

Known issues, bugs, and limitations

(As of 9/18/2014)

The current version of Chatbot Encounters™ is an “alpha test” release,  version 0.71.

Many features are incomplete or under development and testing, and subject to change based on feedback from early users.


AVAILABILITY AND PRICING:   Not yet determined.  It will be priced so that a student’s repeated attempts at the same scenario will not cost extra.

USERNAME, INSTITUTION, CLASS, CASE, and ROLE can be selected, but are ignored. Right now, you get “Butch Sampson” as the only available case.  More will be coming.

START A NEW SESSION generally works and is usable.

JOIN AN EXISTING SESSION is under development, and may or may not work depending on the day.

VOICE RESPONSES:   The visual “chatbot” and its text-to-speech  is managed by the third-party Sitepal.  Aside from selecting the background and face to be used, which can be from photographs, and picking male or female voices and accents,  not much tweaking is possible.     Chatbot’s can deal with the 20 major languages in the world,  in their native typefaces,  and pronounce them adequtely, but the rest of our system is all in English at this time.  ( Spanish will probably be added as an option next year.)

CONTENT:      Some of the chatbot’s comments and responses may be inappropriate.  Crafting artificially intelligent agents is always a “work in progress”, but expected to continually improve over time.   Canned (prepared) questions and answers are stored in a MySQL database and should always work as written if picked from the list.  If there is the slightest typo, however, they will not match the database.

Questions related to specific topics,  taught to the AI-chatbot by our staff,  should be generally correct and fairly quick to improve.  These are coded in Bruce Wilcox’s product ChatScript.

Questions or comments about other topics,  such as baseball or the weather,  will definitely receive a reply, but it may be somewhat unexpected.   These are handled by a third-party “Pandorabot” and in general left to the default behavior.

INTERFACE WITH LMS – Learning Management Systems:    Much of Chatbot Encounters is written using jQuery, and interfacing is expected this year (2014) directly into the Instructure’s LMS Canvas™

DATABASE ARCHIVES:  All prepared questions and answers, and transcripts of all sessions are permanently retained in a MySQL database on our servers.    Special custom reports or exports can be arranged at additional cost.