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Piga Brain was a artificial intelligence research project by Piga Software technical director Graham L. Wilson. The premise was to create an artificial intelligence personality similar to that of Erwin of the web comic User Friendly or Holly from the science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf. The virtual being was intended to be able to hold a basic conversation with a human being and also absorb and recall knowledge given to it (learning). The thought of Piga Brain was designed to be stored in multiple code files, one for present knowledge, one for stimuli response, and one for fresh knowledge, in order to keep the mind organized and still be extensive.
Its default avatar is that of the Piga Software mascot Piga, however it was going to be designed to take on others such as homages to science fiction media (from which it is inspired). Later experiments intend it so that the user's interaction with the artificial intelligence will shape its personality in a similar way as it was to learn new knowledge, as some virtual pets do. Currently the only way to interact with the Piga Brain prototype is through text messages, other forms of stimuli such as voice recognition are also kept as goals for later experiments. The project was taking a rudimentary mix of the "top down" and "bottom up" approach to AI, given that it has many hard-coded facts and responses, but was also going to be able to pick things up from the user. It should be noted however that it was not intended to be a pure AI and more of a toy, say for example if xeyes could talk.
It speaks back to the user through text boxes, text-to-speech support was also intended to be added as well as memorizing conversations in a log file. It was also desired for it to one day have the ability to see a person's face on a camera and recognize it and respond, as some robots and software already does. It was also desired to create a way for it to derive simple notes from Wikipedia and similar, stating article introductions and such. Although it was intended as software only and thus not able to interact with the real world, there were plans to code in a virtual world with various obstacles it can get around. This would also be a helpful test environment for Piga game AI. The current prototype's personality has jokingly been been described by Graham as "a bit of a suck up and overly polite, unless insulted in which case it gets tetchy", he also notes that this was not entirely unconventional as the Turing test does include "responses to insults".
It has now been superseded by the more generalized Gambas Performance System.