Talk to an alien intelligence...
HAL is an application that quickly learns to converse in human languages. It does this by learning the words used, and learning the order the words (and punctuation) are used in. It has been demonstrated to work in many different languages.
It's like beginning to communicate with an alien intelligence, where the only information passed is words & symbols, and the alien intelligence is very good at learning from that.
At first, it knows very little, and mimics what it sees, but it quickly learns more and begins saying different things on its own. This is an interesting scenario to experience for yourself. But be careful – first-contact situations can be dangerous...
But that's not the only thing it can do.
With it only reading a simple text-file with sample dialog from an action (or comedy) movie (or play), you can become a part of that dialog, contributing to it and reacting to it. And where it actually is an alien intelligence, it will say amusing things you never would have thought of.
You can practice reading & writing dialog in a foreign language. Simply let it read a sample dialog, and then start communicating.
You can simulate text-based action adventure games, where you tell it which way to go, and what to do. Simply by reading the textual descriptions of the environment, and the things the player tells it, it simulates such a game (but don't bother to try drawing any maps). The “Cave Adventure” vocabulary illustrates this. It's like you're both down in that cave, stumbling over things, and arguing about what to do next.
You can argue philosophy with it. Apparently, knowing the meaning of the words is not that important. But sometimes, though the argument is convincing, it's hard to figure out the point it's trying to get across...
But don't try insulting it – it's probably better at that than you are...
Try it out on this web-site, by clicking the link below:
If you've followed the instructions on the Software page for obtaining Java, you can try out the application now. If your OS doesn’t allow applications to run your browser to display help pages, you'll need to access the help using the link below. For details about using the application, click on the link below to access its help-information:
Help-Information for HAL 2.1
The application runs with all permissions, as a normal application. As is required by Java security requirements, it uses a trusted, revocable, code-signing certificate (of Laeramin LLC, by DigiCert, on AeresRealm.com).
To download it, right-click on the link below, and choose “Save Link As” (or whatever similar choice is offered in the popup-menu by your browser).
HAL 2.1 Jar-File
With Java installed (on MacOS and Linux, where the JDK is installed), you can verify the authenticy of the software by entering the following statement in a terminal session, having first changed directories to the directory (such as Downloads) where the jar-file is stored:
jarsigner -verify HAL21-ap.jar
On Windows, where just the Java JRE is installed, the ‘jarsigner’ program is not available, so you can’t check it.
On Windows, you can run it as an application, by opening it (double-clicking on it). If you plan to use it a lot, you can put it in your desktop folder.
On MacOS, you need to option-click (2-finger, or right-click) on the downloaded jar-file, and specify it is opened by the Java launcher. The first time you try to open it, it will complain it can’t identify the developer, asking if you want to open it anyway. After choosing to open it, you won’t have to answer that again.
On Linux, you will probably have to right-click on the jar-file, select “Properties” from the popup-menu, and specify it is to be opened by “OpenJDK Java 11 Runtime”, or alternatively, “java -jar”. You will also have to change its permissions to make it executable.
The application allows you to use the “Help” button, and to save the application's memory at the end of a session, This allows you to continue a conversation later.
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