Buffy the semantic AI network

[I’m using a vacation day to catch up on coursework and catch my breath. Hence the flurry of school-related posts this afternoon.]

In my Content Representation class this week, our professor touched on semantic networks, and the amount of knowledge that can be represented by linking a set of concepts and terms via specific types of relationships. She showed us an example from an artificial intelligence’s semantic network, with concepts linked and grouped together to form the base of the AI’s knowledge of the world.

Apparently one never stops being a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, because I suddenly thought "Oh! Like the Buffybot!" (From the episode "Intervention" in Season 5; here’s a shorter summary.) I’m thinking specifically about the points at which the audience sees through the Buffybot’s eyes, a view that looks a bit like a computer screen with folders for various subroutines ("Slaying," "Locate Spike," "Make Spike Happy"). When she looks at Willow, she calls up a list of relevant information (as shown in the screenshot):


…and uses that information to greet a confused Willow with "Willow! You’re my best friend! And you’re recently gay!" Evidently, Warren the soon-to-be villain programmed the Buffybot’s AI "brain" with a network of concepts like "friend," the names of specific people, and their various attributes.

I’d never given much thought to the semantic principles behind the Buffybot episode, but it makes kind of a nifty illustration, doesn’t it?

2 Responses to “Buffy the semantic AI network”

  1. Excellent example! Certainly true that once a Buffy fan always… We’ve just watched all seven series right through.

  2. brd says:

    I recently bought my daughter season 3 of Buffy for her birthday. It seemed like such an inane gift, but this is what she wanted. At least she is in decent company. No accounting for taste!