conversational agent
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GC: n

CT: A conversational agent is a software program which interprets and responds to statements made by users in ordinary natural language. It integrates computational linguistics techniques with communication over the internet.

S: https://www.chatbots.org/conversational_agent/ (last access: 30 December 2014)

N: 1. conversational (adj): 1779, from conversation (mid-14c., “living together, having dealings with others,” also “manner of conducting oneself in the world;” from Old French conversation, from Latin conversationem (nominative conversatio) “act of living with,” noun of action from past participle stem of conversari “to live with, keep company with,” literally “turn about with,” from Latin com- “with” (see com-) + vertare, frequentative of vertere; specific sense of “talk” is 1570s) + -al (suffix forming adjectives from nouns or other adjectives, “of, like, related to, pertaining to,” Middle English -al, -el, from French or directly from Latin -alis).
agent (n): late 15c., “one who acts,” from Latin agentem (nominative agens) “effective, powerful,” present participle of agere “to set in motion, drive, lead, conduct”).
2. The term Conversational Agent is primarily used in an academic context by scientists and engineers working on these systems to ensure satisfactory and relevant interaction with the user. They focus on developing interactive embodied conversational agents (ECA) and improving verbal and nonverbal human-computer interaction.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=conversational&searchmode=none (last access: 30 December 2014). 2. https://www.chatbots.org/conversational_agent/ (last access: 30 December 2014).

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CR: artificial intelligence, computer science, Turing test.