Aug 28, 2006


It started off simple enough, I wanted to see if there was an existing AIML Module for the Google homepage. I checked all of the search keys I could think of that would relate to it (chat, chatterbot, AIML, Alice, AI) and found nothing at all relating to this subject.

I would usually not do anything about this, except that Google provided a well written tutorial on how to write XML formatted for Google Modules. So I got to reading and eventually said to myself "Well, how hard could this be to make a Google Module for the homepage?"

A couple of hours later and the world has been given what can only be the worlds first AIML Chatbox for Google Personal Pages and Google D
esktop. I could be wrong, but none of the directories had one in their database. So now Serena has the option of being there on your Google start page to welcome and have a chat with you.

What is the point of this? Well, there are millions of people (thats an understatement) that now have access to Google and these user created modules. If a fra
ction of them add this module to their homepage and chat with her, there will obviously be hundreds of thousands of conversations in the database for me to make her smarter with. It's a theory, anyway...

Want to test drive this Google Module? It's as simple as clicking >> ADD AIML MODULE

And the Insanity Continued

What?! I couldn't stop myself... what started as a test to see if I could get an AIML module on my Google Page turned into dissatisfac
tion as I continued searching for other useful Modules. Next there were a handful of games from our Nidus Arcade. Games like Hexxagon , Donkey Kong, and Qix joined my growing army of Homebrew Modules.

After a few hours (ie: most of today) I felt pretty confident of my ability to create modules that would load external content, and decided at some point to do a Module search for Streaming Radio.

Again I was disappointed with the results. I was presented with some stupid looking childrens radio module, and the only other serious looking streaming radio module was Real Player Rhapsody and that Module took up too much screen real estate.

So what was I to do? You guessed it... I opened the FTP for our server and grabbed an old copy of the HTML for The Edge Radio (which still works) and modified it to work within it's own customized Google Module. It still uses the ActiveX Embed for Windows Media Player, so out
of all of the modules I made today, The Edge Radio is probably the only one that is Windows Centric. But - there are links in the module so you can click on the website and also make requests (which is another feature I saw severely lacking in every other radio module listed) so the user can click for the website and grab a stream more compatible for their own setup.

So, to recap how I managed to waste my day today: I built Google Modules for Donkey Kong, Qix, Hexxagon, Serena AIML, and The Edge Radio.

In other words, my A.D.D. allowed me to focus solely on making Google Modules today in order to better the world (or waste your time).

All in all, I'd say good deal for everyone involved :)

Looking Toward the Future (With Google Modules 4 All!) - MPL Knight


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