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The definitive guide to chatbot terminology

In the glorious days of AOL Instant Messenger, when screen names and out-of-office messages were serious literary activities, a mysterious outsider chatted beyond the dial-up line and trained legions of rude youth in the art of conversation. Who was this villainous word-smith, this tireless anger of teenage millennials? Certainly no mortal was able to generate answers with such speed, charm and unshakable security. It turned out to be a bot, an artificial chat companion called SmarterChild, and it was great.

Regardless of the subject, intensity or logic of the challenger in conversation, SmarterChild always had the last word. Back in a corner, it would offer news, weather, and movie updates. As an object of ridicule, it would instruct the perpetrators about the importance of good manners. Best of all, SmarterChild was always up for discussion and endeavored to give the most serious answers his programming would allow.