ELIZA is a natural language conversation program described by
in January 1966
in the aricle "ELIZA – A Computer Program For the Study of Natural Language Communication Between
Man and Machine", CACM 9 (1), pp. 36–45.
The talk-psychotherapy ELIZA mimics resembles to the technique developed by psychologist Carl Rogers
in the 1940s and 1950s. This technique aims at creating a comfortable, non-judgmental, positive
atmosphere helping patients to find their own solutions
for their own problems. In this setting, the program manages to
create an illusion of understanding during a conversation even though it uses only a
very limited amount of formalized background knowledge.
Whereas an important design goal of ELIZA has been hiding the fact that no real understanding is achieved,
newer programs such as ALICE
additionally focus on using extensive formalized knowledge and on learning during the conversation,
e.g. by corrections from the user.
Many thanks to Norbert Landsteiner at www.masswerk.at
the implementation of ELIZA as well as the great terminal simulation www.masswerk.at/termlib/