ELIZA Revisited

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

This presentation reconsiders one of the most famous works of electronic literature: Joseph Weizenbaum'sEliza/Doctor. Created in the mid-1960s, this conversational character's success led Janet Murray to name Weizenbaum "perhaps the premier" literary artist in the computer medium. Such evaluations, however, don't take into account what happens during the playful engagement that the system's freeform textual interaction encourages: a breakdown that reveals the shape of the underlying processes. An alternative to this is extremely constrained interaction, which can help maintain the illusion. But a more exciting direction is to design processes that reward readers as they are revealed.

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Scott Rettberg