February 6th, 2008

Learned a new word tonight from MattB, SimonB, and Yoz.

A hashbot is a robot that hangs out on an IRC channel (hence the #) and provides a conversational interface to a resource.

hashbots are the ancestors of Social Software for Robots, and the idea of Twitter/YubNub as Web CLI.

4 responses to “#hashbot”

  1. l.m.orchard says:

    From hanging out in a few server incarnations of the #perl channel, my idea of a good IRC bot comes from the infobot purl. Read all about her:


    I think various renditions of her code can be found here:

    http://infobot.org/ http://flooterbuck.sourceforge.net/

    I remember thinking that that bot was downright magical, having soaked up lil bits of trivia and random call-and-response quirks over the years. She seemed to know where everything was, what the weather was anywhere, and had a bit of a nasty sarcastic streak in her.

    And she more often than not fooled newbies into having a protracted Eliza-esque conversation with her, which often ended in profanity from both sides.

  2. l.m.orchard says:

    Oh, but the problem with an infobot like purl is: She needs to be in a social context. She doesn’t work as a 1-to-1 chatbot so much.

    I’ve seen some incarnations of her set up via bitlbee and other things where she responds via IM, but it never works. Her responses need correction and amplification from human peers, and she’s only really funny in a shared group context.

    Twitter might be a good spot for her, if she can soak up trivia from people she follows and if she sparks interactions between people in her circle.

  3. kellan says:

    Right, we’ve moved community spaces online, tho I’m not sure Twitter has enough explicit conversation for it to learn. Maybe, sounds like a good experiment (hint!)

  4. Joe Winter says:

    The #haskell lambdabot ( http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Lambdabot ) is a good example of a hashbot.