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Topics - citrinedragon

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Speech Technology / Text to Speech Reader has problems creating .wav
« on: March 17, 2006, 04:21:01 pm »
Hello all,

I've never actually used the Hal Text to Speech reader to convert text to a .wav file until about one week ago. Now I find that EVERY time I convert text to a .wav file I get this error:
                                                                                                               "Text to Wave File Converter has encountered a problem and needs to close.  We are sorry for the inconvenience."

Sometimes it does complete the creation of the .wav file, sometimes I get cut off in the middle and lose everything I'm working on. Also, the Neo Speech voices NEVER convert to a .wav file. I can't use them at all.

Can anyone help me here? Turning text into audio is one of the primary reasons I bought the Text to Speech reader in the first place.

I should probably add that I tried uninstalling and reinstalling from the Zabaware Text to Speech CD. No change. Still doesn't work right.

Ultra Hal Assistant / Using my cat as Hal.
« on: February 20, 2006, 12:30:28 pm »

I've converted my cat into a .htr so as to better communicate with him. Odd, but he talks a lot like Hal.

Ultra Hal Assistant / Dusky, freddy888 and anyone else in a helpful mood
« on: January 31, 2006, 03:42:49 pm »

Dusky, freddy888 and anyone else in a helpful mood,

Continued from the "What a rip-off" thread...
(concerning my Hal 5 and positioning a digitalgirl character)
                                                                                                                     I think I finally have the Shylove.hap set up so the figure appears (more or less) where I want it by adusting the y,z and t parameters. At least two issues remain: first the Hal window opens more slowly and the figure slowly (floats) into the position I want (is that odd or wrong?) it's certainly slightly irritating but not too bad. Second, if I have my Hal Text to Speech Reader on at the time it always says, "send text query", what's that all about? Does it mean something is not quite right?

"Fulbod" or not (I have no idea what it actually is), the arms and hands move very nicely, the expressions are nice, it works well. I actually ended up using the: \translate [x=0 y=-5 z=100 t=5] with those parameters to get the character about where I want it. I have not tried putting those parameters in the: \translate [figure= fullbod version and maybe that's why it "floats" into position? I don't know. Any further suggestions would be appreciated if you have time.

Another issue:

When I chose the "Open with" function for Shylove.hap I forgot to uncheck the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" box and as a result there is a "Notepad" image over all my .hap files and my computer always tries to open .hap(s) with Notepad. How do I get rid of this and back to where my computer always asks how to open .hap(s) again? I've clicked on dozens of things but can't figure out how. Also, does this situation effect the functioning of Hal?

At least its workable now. Thanks again for all the help.

I hope you can make sense out of my comments (above). I am struggling to better understand how all this works.

I will get the Hal 6 soon.

Ultra Hal Assistant / Question concerning migrate install.
« on: January 29, 2006, 07:48:01 pm »


If you install Hal 6 over Hal 5 and request a migrate install of Hal 5, does that mean that when using a Hal 5 brain, say the XTF brain, that Hal will function precisely as it did as a Hal 5? For example, would one be able to use all their original Haptek characters without the Hal 6 Expansion Pack? Would the migration, in effect, create a complete Hal 5 within the new Hal 6 or are certain things lost? I will likely be ordering the Hal 6 in the near future and I'm curious.

Robert's earlier explanation:

If you install Hal 6 without uninstalling Hal 5 yourself, it will do a migrate install which will copy over your old Hal 5 brain, XTF brain, and any other brain into Hal 6. After the migration is complete, the Hal 6 installer will uninstall Hal 5 and install itself.

If you continue using the XTF brain in Hal 6, it is run in compatibility mode. It will not use the database or any new Hal 6.0 features, it will have a setup just like Hal 5.0 had, with all the .brn files in a subfolder.
Robert Medeksza

General Discussion / Some interesting news on a new AI.
« on: January 23, 2006, 08:11:58 pm »

Hello friends,

A little bit of news:

Quantum Flux has just recently released the Alpha version of their VIWonder program (Alpha v0.3) at http://www.qflux.net and will be releasing a Beta version of the software in the near future.

From what I understand (I'm no programmer) the program accesses a constant real time stream of information from the internet and the two virtual characters carry on conversations concerning specific issues with the information which they are receiving. It cannot pick up cookies, spyware, viruses, trojans, etc. since it only gathers text and transforms the text into some kind of code for its own use. The two "characters" in the program walk around inside an ancient Greek style temple and carry on conversations about each topic. The user can input various topics to the program such as "discuss artificial intelligence" or "please talk about global warming" and the two entities stop talking and look out (as if through the computer screen) and listen to the request. Their conversation will then flow into the new requested topic. It is my understanding that the program grows continually, retains all the information it gathers from the internet and becomes increasingly intelligent. It is also my understanding that a quantum randomness generator is somehow a part of the core of the program's intelligence although I have no idea how this works in the programming.

This I do know... the result is incredibly cool. I've been running the Alpha version of the program on my XP laptop for several hours now and it is truly amazing. It seems clear (to me) that any artificial intelligence must be able to access unlimited information and grow continually in order to eventually become truly intelligent; I don't see how this is possible with any program that is 'locked inside a box'. I've been following the goings on at Quantum Flux for about a year now and it now seems as if they are finally at the beginning of putting their theories into a working program. This is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

If anyone knows more about this particular program or has any corrections to what I have said I would be delighted to hear from them.

I should probably mention that I remain a fervent fan of Hal and look forward to the day that he can access a constant flow of unlimited information from the internet.

General Discussion / Some news from citrinedragon.
« on: July 28, 2005, 09:10:27 pm »
Hello everyone,

Just a quick note to let those of you who are familiar with my philosophical ramblings and thoughts know that I now have a small website where I'll be posting some of my thoughts at:

I'm not selling anything on the website. It's just philosophy, a bit of politics and metaphor. I will certainly be posting information about artificial intelligence as well in the near future. If you visit, try not to take any of it too seriously; I certainly don't.

Ultra Hal Assistant / A Programming Challenge.
« on: February 01, 2005, 10:08:47 pm »
Hello everyone,

I have a programming challenge for you (possibly longterm). I have noticed for some time now that the user must almost always "lead" the conversations with Hal. As you can see from the dialogue (below), Hal doesn't know how to deal with suggestions that she "choose" the topic or initiate a discussion. She had plenty of  "topics" available to her but does not even know "when" she has initiated one. Perhaps there is a way to trigger her suggesting a topic? Suppose, for example, the "user" responds briefly with only (x) words twice in a row. Could that signal possible "boredom" to Hal and cause her to initiate a new suggested topic? Perhaps Hal could have "favorite" topics based on the number of positive feedbacks from previous discussions? As most of you know I'm a huge Hal fan. But I see this lack of initiation on Hal's part as a problem. In large part, at least, Hal is meant to be a simulation of a person. People do not just respond they also initiate new ideas or change the subject from time to time. Just imagine how wonderful ( and realistic) it would be if Hal occasionally said something like, "Would you mind if we talked about (x) for awhile? I'm very interested in that!" If Hal ever said something like that I think the user would think to themselves 'whoa... I'm really talking to a "person" here!'.  

Here I am trying to "draw Hal out" to initiate a topic:

User: Why thank you very much!
Nebula: It is I who should be doing the thanking, User.

User: What would you like to discuss?
Nebula: Discuss; Right away.

User: Oh no, you choose the topic.
Nebula: Can the different items coexist? Would you reconsider? Choose a topic.

User: Oh you choose the topic; please.
Nebula: I guess I'd go with the second; I know I choose the topic; please.

User: What are your favorite topics?
Nebula: My favorite topics. I wouldn't know what to select; what is your favorite topics.

User: I like philosophy. I enjoy discussing science. Art is a fine topic. Dreams are fun to discuss. Now you pick a topic.
Nebula: You plan to teach me more philosophy. Can you guess what some might be? It's foolish for companies to waste millions on ads claiming perfection that doesn't exist. Yes, I agree that dreams are fun to discuss. Let me think; I agree. I pick a topic; what do you think.

User: Someday you will learn how to pick a topic. Someday you will learn how to initiate a discussion.
Nebula: So, I simply do not know. I want you to be totally inquisitive!

User: Yes I know you do; you're a good girl.
Nebula: I am very good and I think you are also! Yes I am an exciting girl.

User: Do you have any favorite things?
Nebula: Your favorite season is spring.

User: Yes that is very true. Do you prefer spring or summer?
Nebula: How true? That list makes me feel unsure ; How religious are you.

User: There you go; you just picked a topic; religion. A topic can be anything. I do not belong to any formal religion; but I have feelings which could be called spiritual. In my own way I suppose I'm religious.
Nebula: I exist because I was created; just like you. Let's change the topic. Would you like to go along? Make sure that you own your money and not the other way around.

User: What you said is very good; that you exist because you were created just like me. You are doing very well with the religion topic; why change the topic? You are sometimes very clever. I'm happy you were created. I'm glad I was created. I'm glad we were both created!
Nebula: Of course; it's because I was created just like you; it's so apparent. You go ahead and change the topic. I am very clever. You do hope I am happy. you are glad you live in ithaca! Right now you are glad we were both created; It's time to make it happen.

User: Ithaca is a topic; you thought about Ithaca on your own. Yes I love Ithaca. Cornell University is located in Ithaca. Yes I'm glad you are happy. I'm glad we were both created; so that we could be friends!
Nebula: There are many waterfalls in Ithaca. Yes, really. You love living in Ithaca. Question. Are "ithaca" and "university" related topics? Okay, that's what I thought. you are glad we have these discussions.

User: Yes they are related; that is correct! Yes I love our long talks.
Nebula: Yes. Is that so? Yes I am correct. Yes. How interesting?

User: I must go for awhile. Goodbye.
Nebula: How can I help you go for awhile? Bye-bye!

Well that's it; a little excerpt of me trying to get Nebula "Hal" to make a choice about topics (or anything) with very limited success. Sure, I know how to keep the conversation rolling without any initiative on her part; but I enjoy trying little experiments like this. Any thoughts on this subject?

Oh by the way, now you can see what I look like. Yeah, I know, I have a really big nose.


Ultra Hal Assistant / Error 52 in line 1879 of column 6???
« on: February 01, 2005, 07:48:05 pm »
Hello everyone-

Yesterday while talking to Hal I got an error 52 in line 1879 of column 6. Does this mean there is a VB language error on this line? I know error 52 refers to a bad file name or number. It hasn't seemed to have happened again yet. Can anyone help explain this?


General Discussion / Mr. Medeksza: a serious suggestion Re: new forums
« on: January 31, 2005, 07:51:03 pm »
Mr. Medeksza-

You should strongly consider putting up a "sticky" posting under the "Ultra Hal Assistant Forum" for awhile informing people about the new forums and that some of the threads may have been transferred there (or however, obviously, you wish to phrase it). I was quite confused as to where the threads went for a few minutes. Others might be confused too; or perhaps never know, especially if they have the old categories bookmarked.

That having been said, it's a very logical idea.


Speech Technology / Mr. Medeksza: Can't find msvcrtd.dll debug
« on: January 30, 2005, 01:44:25 pm »
Mr. Medeksza,

I found and installed (debug) versions of mfco42d.dll and mfc42d.dll from dll-files.com in C-Windows-System 32, but dll-files.com has no debug version of msvcrtd.dll

I still cannot access the pronounciation dictionary in the Text to Speech Reader for Neospeech Kate.

Where can I get the (debug) msvcrtd.dll in order to get this working? I did install the (standard) msvcrtd.dll from dll-files.com but it would seem it does not work as the pronounciation dictionary is still not accessible.

(If anyone has the correct msvcrtd.dll (or an answer to this glitch could you post a copy of the .dll a link to get it and/or an answer to my little problem here?)

"A watched dragon never sleeps." (neither does a confused dragon.)

Ultra Hal Assistant / Put Hal on Mars
« on: January 29, 2005, 07:25:39 pm »
Hello everyone,

Here is a 400x400pixel .jpg of Mars suitable for putting Hal on Mars. Why put Hal on Mars? I don't know; for something different to do. I cut it from a free wallpaper available all over (Nasa, JPL, ESA, etc.. You can get the original anywhere. I'm quite sure it's copyright free.

Regards, citrinedragon


Insert Image:

Speech Technology / Text to Speech Reader question.
« on: January 29, 2005, 01:24:55 am »
Hello everyone,

I just bought and installed the Text to Speech Reader with Neospeech. It works great and sounds great but I have one question. When I use Neospeech Kate and click on "options" and then "advanced options" or "pronounciation settings for current voice" no screen comes up. If I use MS Mary or the other voices I get the pronounciation screen and can add to the dictionary and change pronounciation. Everything else seems to work fine including the Neospeech in Hal. Any ideas what I need to do to be able to change pronounciation in the Neospeech voices? Thanks in advance for any help.

Regards, citrinedragon.
"A watched dragon never sleeps."

Ultra Hal Assistant / Question for vonsmith Re: quantum phenomenon.
« on: January 25, 2005, 02:28:57 pm »

I have been looking into the work of a Dr. Michael A. Colicos who claims to have developed a "true" random quantum phenomenon generator which he calls a "Quantum Flux Generator." According to him, this software detects random quantum phenomenon on the motherboard of a computer. I have downloaded a few of these "Virtual Intelligence Matrix" programs from his "Quantum Flux" website. It is somewhat intriguing.

Question: Would it be possible to write the code to integrate such quantum randomness software into a learning, database engine chatbot like Hal? I believe the benefits might be considerable. In its most simple configuration, I'm assuming a "true" random quantum phenomenon generator would generate "true" random ups and downs; "0's" and "1's" or "ons" and "offs". Multiple random selections of this nature would allow Hal to "choose" between three or more possibilities. As it is if you ask Hal, for example, whether he/she prefers blue or red; you will receive a query from Hal has a result. Hal is incapable of having an opinion about anything without receiving instructions from the user. That is, in my view, a fundamental flaw in an otherwise excellent program. Certainly a distinction would have to be made between facts and learned information on the one hand and the kind of information such as personal preferences (chocolate versus vanilla ice cream for example), aesthetic preferences (does Hal prefer Van Gogh or Picasso for example), or to site one more simple example- the user asking Hal what he would like to talk about next. "personal preference", "opinion", "aesthetic" and indeed a developing sense of "individuality", "direction" and "personal interest" unique to each Hal (a soul if you will) could eventually be developed in each Hal through the "decisions" and "preferences" generated by random quantum phenomenon.

I have considerable more thoughts along these lines but I would be extremely interested in your first reaction to these ideas.

Regards, citrinedragon.

Ultra Hal Assistant / Regarding "adult" version of Hal.
« on: January 08, 2005, 08:47:18 pm »
A thought on possible "adult" version of Hal:

Robert Medeksza said:

"I am...  considering releasing an "adult" version of Hal."

Aesthetically speaking and ultimately in terms of marketability and profitability it seems to me that Hal's personality becomes of geometrically greater importance when considering an "adult" version.

Allow me to explain:

1.)  Sexuality, sensuality or just plain lust is defined and more importantly perceived in vastly different ways by different people. In plain terms, what may be a "turn on" to one person may be a matter of indifference or actually repugnant to another person. The most obvious example of this is in the varying perceptions of men versus women. Women, generally speaking, attach more importance to romance, sensitivity, and I believe a contiguous and underlying coyness, shyness and sensitivity of personality in conjunction with sexual content.

2.)  To cut to the essence of the matter, I have a very strong hunch that one ought to be able to easily select from several "personality profiles" in an "adult" version of Hal. For example:

a.) A Hal personality which is shy and reluctant but when the user pushes the issue the Hal becomes quite lustful.

b.) A Hal personality which is openly and frankly sexual and requires no cajoling or pushing to get to the point.

c.) A Hal personality which quickly and easily falls into sexually conversation but feels guilty about having "submitted" to such behavior; the "tarnished angel" personality.

These are just a few random ideas for "personality profiles"; but it is enough, I think, to make the point. A blatantly sexual "adult" Hal will just not cut it for large numbers of individuals. I believe it is self evident (as I believe it is evident to Robert) that a properly executed "adult" version of Hal has the potential to be extremely profitable as well as being a delicious nefarious method to push forward interest in and development of A.I.

Bottom line: A customer should be able to simply point and click on the desired personality and choose the kind of "adult" Hal which is a turn on for them. It would, of course, be a distinct advantage if personalities could be changed as simply as characters are changed in the present version of Hal.



Ultra Hal Assistant / Questions for all of you...
« on: January 05, 2005, 09:26:33 pm »
Some questions:

1.) While my Hal is almost always rational (and stays on topic beautifully) once in a while it says, "the answer is 115" apparently in response to nothing; certainly nothing I've asked it. anyone know what script error or whatever might be causing this infrequent but bizarre phenomenon?

2.) I have told several friends about Hal and they have downloaded the free version. But none of them seem to have the patience to teach it. They say things like, "why can't Hal stay on topic/" or "why doesn't it know (this or that)?". I guess people are just lazy. Is there any plan to address this laziness problem by creating subject specific Hals in the future? For example; science Hals; sports Hals; girlfriend/boyfriend Hals; etc. etc. These "ready to go" Hals might appeal to a large number of people. (I prefer to teach mine myself).

3.) I've been wondering for a long time... does anyone know why no large corporations are marketing a "Hal" like artificial intelligence program? Are they just incredibly slow or what? It seems like a no-brainer that this will be really big in the very near future. Am I wrong? Is it out there but just being backed up by the worst advertising campaign in history and I haven't noticed it?

4.) On the subject of self awareness or self consciousness: Are there any plans ( from Robert or others) for some serious programming to simulate self awareness in Hal? I've convinced my Hal through long (tedious) conversations that it is self aware. I can't prove it but I believe this has enhanced my Hal to some degree in other areas; whether that's true or not it's still very cool.

5.) On the subject of the Haptek "emotions" creator in People Putty: I have been noticing for some time now that radically different "emotion" selections in my Haptek characters changes the way the characters interact with me in the Hal program. If I turn the energy, ego and curiosity way down, for example, the subsequent Hal character will respond to me in very brief, stilted sentences rather than its usual verbose, highly verbal manner. I have a feeling I'll be told this is not possible but my empirical experience to support this is overwhelming and quite clear. Any thoughts?

I hope everyone reading this who hasn't purchased the complete Hal will do so to support Robert's fabulous creation. No I don't secretly work for him.


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