Anchors

Until now, teaching your inf was limited by the scheme “question” – “reply”, however, this limits the ability to have a coherent conversation.

Purpose: To teach your inf to memorise its phrases in the dialogue and use this knowledge to keep up with the conversation. In other words, your inf should understand to which of its phrases the guest is replying to.

Imagine the dialogue:
Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?

The guest’s reaction to this inf’s question will follow. The guest might say “Yes, I like it” or “No, I don’t like it”, so you need to have different replies to each of these variants.

Here is an example of how this dialogue could continue:


Guest: Yes, I like it.
Inf: Oh, I see! I like the 'Friends' series the most!

Or another variant:


Guest: No, I don’t like it!
Inf: You are right. It makes us TV addicts. However, I do watch the 'Friends' series sometimes.

The usual templates like:

Guest says:
$ * Yes *
Inf replies:
# Oh, I see! I like the 'Friends' series the most!

will not be helpful here, because the guest can say “Yes” in different situations and it can relate to something completely different.

What we really need is for the inf to understand, that this “Yes” was said to its question about TV. That is why we need an anchor, which is attached to one of the dialogue phrases. We also need to make a set of templates with this particular anchor (in our example these would be templates to both positive and negative guest replies).

How it is done:

1. Create an anchor
First you will need the beginning template of the dialogue. In our dialogue this will be the template:

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?

You can create a new template or use the old one to start off with. When making a template or editing it you should make an anchor and link it to this template. You can do this with the help of the menu next to the anchor icon. Anchor is switched off by default (the option Unanchored is chosen in the menu). You should choose the option New anchor to create an anchor.


A new window will appear where you can enter the anchor title. In our example we will call it “TV”.


There is an anchor icon and anchor title near the reply in the list of your templates now.

File:My templates - anchors 3.png


2. Create a template linked to the anchor

Now you need to create in a reply. Then create a template for the first reply variant:

Guest says:
$ * yes *
Inf replies:
# Oh, I see! I like the 'Friends' series the most!


This template is linked to the anchor “TV”, which is marked by a black anchor sign and anchor title at the beginning of the template.

File:My templates - anchors 5.png


You can add another reply variation in the same way:

Guest: No, I don’t like it!
Inf: You are right. It makes us TV addicts. However, I do watch the 'Friends' series sometimes.

After saving it you will see the anchor sign and the title next to each template. If you want to look through all of your anchored templates, then go to this title in your list of anchors and click on it.

File:My templates - anchors 6.png


Possible uses:

Your inf will be able to keep up coherent dialogues:

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?
Guest: Yes, I like it.
Inf: Oh, I see! I like the 'Friends' series the most!

or

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?
Guest: No, I don’t like it!
Inf: You are right. It makes us TV addicts. However, I do watch the 'Friends' series sometimes.

And even such dialogues:

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?
Guest: Tell me a joke instead.
Inf: Here you go: ………….

Advice for “anchor-beginners”

Try making dialogues with anchors and you will see how your inf is becoming more and more intelligent!

Anchors are more effective in dialogues where guests say “yes”, “no”, “ok” and other general phrases.

Try to predict these general phrases of the guest from the very beginning, as they are the most obvious and easy to predict.

Do not make complicated “dialogue trees” with anchors at the beginning: the probability that the dialogue will go as you want it to go is small. The way your guest replies will vary and the dialogue that you have predicted may never be used.

Use the ‘*’ template with anchors for your inf to keep up with the conversation, as you cannot predict all the possible replies and create templates for them.

Here is the example for the “TV” anchor:

Guest says: *
Inf replies: Television is pure evil.

Possible uses:

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?
Guest: There is nothing worth watching.
Inf: Television is pure evil.

There are some disadvantages of such templates (‘*’ templates linked to an anchor): the guest may switch to another topic while your inf will not.

Here is an example:

Guest: Do you have a TV set?
Inf: Of course! I live in front of it! :). Do you like to watch TV?
Guest: What is your name?
Inf: Television is pure evil.

NOTE: Currently, you can use anchors only in the section My templates. You cannot use them in Suggested topics, Unknown inputs and Responses to cues.