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On the Horizon - Billy 4

Hello, all.

The last release of Billy - 3.11 - was released on June 18, 2001. I can't believe that was over two years ago. But was is even more amazing is that even before I released 3.11, I had started intial design work on what would eventually become Billy 4 - the fourth generation of my artificial intelligence technology. I am pleased to announce that in the time that has passed, work has not ceased on Billy, even though there have been no releases and not much has been heard from me. Originally, there were serious design issues -- the design I had come up with was too complex to implement at the time. But I kept at it, and it looks like Billy 4 is on schedule to be finished towards the end of this summer, or the beginning of this fall.

As far as Billy 4, I finally feel ready to discuss some of the changes:

*Billy 4 has been completely written from scratch, and shares no code with Billy 3.11. In fact, Billy 4 is now being written in C++ instead of Pascal. This language change has allowed me to deal with the complex nature of the design in ways that would have been impossible with Pascal.

*Billy 4 was separated into several subprojects, in order to make programming easier. The subsystems are described below:

*Daisy - As before, Daisy is a subsystem within Billy. This is considered Daisy 2 -- the second generation of Daisy -- but probably will not be released on its own. Daisy 2 uses new methods to generate and learn from natural language. Hopefully, language generation by Daisy will now be more natural-sounding than ever before.

*Conversation fingerprinting - I had always wanted Billy to be able to remember facts about each user he talks to, but this requires a more positive and unique identification than simply having them log in with their name. Conversation fingerprinting allows Billy to correctly identify users simply by talking to them.

*Knowledge Web - A knowledge web has always been a part of Billy, but finally it has been given its own subsystem. The new knowledge web is design with efficiency and accuracy in mind. It learns more facts from conversation than before, and is able to answer questions with more relevant answers.

*Math expression evaluator - An oft-requested feautre is that Billy should be able to answer questions like "What is 1+1?", and finally he wil be able to. Billy will actually be able to handle expressions significantly more complex than that as well, such "What is (2.3*5.4)/(6^(1.4))?" (Which, according to the alpha version I have running now is 1.0109).

*In addition to these subsystems, there will be other improvements throughout the Billy program.

Well, that is what I have been working on for the last 2 years. A release date is not known exactly, but I am aiming for the end of the summer, or the beginning of the fall.

Other things going on:
*Billy 2.x re-release - Billy 2.x has not been available for over two and half years. Soon, I plan on rereleasing the second generation of Billy on my website, and this time, source code will be available.

*Website redesign - This has actually already happened, but if you haven't already seen it, I'd love it if you go check out the redesigned website. There's a lot more "stuff" there now to poke around at.

That is it for now, I thank you for reading this till the end :) I thank you for your continued support of the Billy project, and look forward to feedback from you all when the day comes that Billy 4 is actually released -- I hope that you enjoy it.

Greg Leedberg