Fundamentals of Computer Science I

Assignment 7

Use Python to Create a Chat Bot.

The Loebner Prize Competition is held every year to evaluate artificial intelligence chat programs using the Turing Test. In 1950, Alan Turing proposed a test to measure the intelligence of computers. In the Turing test, a subject has a text chat with either a person in another room or with a computer (the subject does not know which). There are no limits to what the subject can chat about, but when done chatting the subject must choose whether they think they were talking to a real person or to a computer. The more frequently a the computer is labeled as human, the more intelligent the computer is, according to the test. (Whether the Turing test is actually a measure of intelligence is debatable, but one interesting thing to consider is, what if a computer was labeled as human more than an actual human?) One simple artificial intelligence chat algorithm is to just repeat what other people have said previously in the same context.


This assignment is to be done individually. You will not work with a partner for this assignment.

Write a simple artificial intelligence chat program. The program should use a dictionary to associate phrases with responses. When a user types a phrase into a prompt the program should check if there is an entry for the phrase. If there is an entry it should print it, if there is not, then it should print a response for a random phrase in the dictionary. Note, the dictionary must initially contain at least one phrase and response or else it will not be able to select a random phrase. After printing the response the program should repeat. The program should repeat a large fixed number of times and it should inform the user that pressing ctl-c will quit the program.

The chat will be boring unless the program’s response dictionary changes and grows. The program should add the users input as a new response to the last phrase the program printed. That is, the program’s last output is the new key, and the user’s last input is the new value. The key should contain only lowercase, alphabetic characters to prevent capitalization and punctuation from affecting the look-up. For example, the phrase “Hi, how are you?” converts to the key “hihowareyou”. If the key is already in the dictionary, the value should be overwritten with the new response.


Welcome to chat bot!
you: hi
bot: hello
you: How are you?
bot: Good, how are you?
you: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
bot: I'm sorry, Dave.  I'm afraid I can't do that.


It’s time to put your thinking caps on! We will run our own version of the Loebner competition in class. During the competition, you will get paired with either another student in the class, or one of your fellow classmates chatbot program. Your goal in class is to discover as many chatbots as possible. Your goal when writing the assignment is to fool as many of your peers as possible. The program which fools the most people will recieve additional bonus points.


Your code should conform to the course’s code conventions and will be graded according the the course’s programming assignment rubric. Submit your program as a .py file on the course Inquire page before class on Friday November 14th.