The only problem with Syn Engine was that it's a Hard-Coded NLP Library i.e. the developers have to hard-code function signatures to get the Engine to recognize 100s ( if not 1000s ) of functional patterns. They are functions because Syn Engine is a Functional Natural Language processor.
But that meant lots of learning curve for users to create their own custom commands. We did create numerous tutorials and a lot of users started working on Syn Engine to embed new functions while others decided to use CMD based apps and mapped Open X functions to the files. Then 2 Years ago we did take a look at AIML and it was such a horrible nightmare to create a library that combined Chatbot features with Syn Engine. From malformed XML files, incomplete specification, broken-untested interpreter to non-specification based implementations everything was whacked up and the weak pattern matching system of AIML was nowhere near being useful. Therefore whenever anyone asks me about AIML all I say "AIML past its hey day....lost its way"
So research on SIML started and we researched over and over again making sure the best of the best features were included and the pattern matching part was derived directly from Syn Engine. Despite the amount of work and resources put in SIML we have licensed all SIML files under Apache License to give everyone the freedom to customize and share their SIML files for both Free and Commercial purpose(s).
After 6 months of Unit-Testing Syn Bot ( official and complete interpreter for SIML ) is finally production ready and has been deployed on NuGet.
To keep up with the promise that we had made long back that we would soon support multilingual virtual assistant architecture we have also created a Chatbot Studio that is frequently updated and supports nearly all UTF-8 compatible human-languages.
Syn Virtual Assistant will use SIML from next version onwards and support for AIML, Verbots and Pandorabots will be retired. As it would be a highly incompatible setup if we tried to otherwise.
Users who have edited their AIML files for Syn Virtual Assistant need not worry as we have integrated an intelligent converter with Chatbot Studio that will safely convert your AIML files to SIML in seconds.
So what happens to Syn Engine ? Well, All Syn Engine features will soon maneuver to Syn Bot which means that all Syn Engine features will be available to all SIML based bots. (Zero compromise)
Work at Syn never stops ( like always ).
Now that it's been more than an year since the release of SVA Prototype 8.1 we are finally in the right track.
After the release of P8 we had to plan for the future, we had to break things up, take suggestions into consideration and create a lot of products that would finally be the base for the upcoming version of Syn Virtual Assistant.
Corporates are trying so hard to push their VA's into your machines. From mobiles to desktop and even your cars they want their VA to be present. What's the catch ? Big Data. Big Data is money. Companies and even NSA pay corporates for this data and that is what makes the corporate world tick. You'll also notice the first thing these cute and innocent looking VAs ask you to do is to sign in to their email accounts. This makes tracking easier for companies. Even when you install a legit anti-spyware you'll find IP addresses (that belong to advertisement companies) sending data out of your computer. This is one of the reason why we've been trying so darn hard to create a VA that is private, secure and open to its users. I personally prefer SVA for a smart house project (which should be a lot easier with the upcoming version) because I don't want anyone to spy on my family and of-course I can take my selfies naked. I make use of a powerful firewall application and on top of that I use TOR browser to stay anonymous.
It took us 1 year to create an SIML interpreter, a platform independent speech recognition engine, a Chatbot Studio and on top of that we've finally after years of research released our first SIML specification. Because it has taken an year to create all of the aforementioned products we did receive some rants on the way and I was probably the one who got hollered at.
So now that the ground is rock solid it's once again the time to work on our favorite project - Syn Virtual Assistant. The team here is already running the next version of Syn Virtual Assistant but its far from being production ready.
A few things we're keeping in mind for the next iteration of Syn Virtual Assistant...
- Developer friendly. Priority is being given to SIML
- Lots of Custom Adapters for SIML
- Language independent - Give users the opportunity to write their own knowledge base.
- All a user should need, to extend the VA should be Chatbot Studio
- At least 2 Display Modes - Help Desk and Dock Mode
- Better Graphic Engine
- Better Display Panels - I have never been a fan of moving panels.
- Platform Independent Adapters so that they can be ported to Linux with ease. (see! we don't hate Linux users we actually love em)
- Open Source Knowledge-Base - No Packaging/Encryption
- Extended License by default - Yes! every user will get the extended license for Free.
- Support as many Speech Recognition engines possible.