However, many early users were convinced of ELIZA’s intelligence and understanding, despite Weizenbaum’s insistence to the contrary.In January 2018, the twelfth episode of the American sitcom Young Sheldon starred the protagonist "conversing" with ELIZA, hoping to resolve a domestic issue.Created to demonstrate the superficiality of communication between humans and machines, Eliza simulated conversation by using a 'pattern matching' and substitution methodology that gave users an illusion of understanding on the part of the program, but had no built in framework for contextualizing events.Directives on how to interact were provided by 'scripts', written originally in MAD-Slip, which allowed ELIZA to process user inputs and engage in discourse following the rules and directions of the script.ELIZA starts its process of responding to an input by a user by first examining the text input for a ‘keyword’.
The example that Weizenbaum gives is the input “I are very helpful” (remembering that “I” is “You” transformed), which is broken into (1) empty (2) I (3) are (4) very helpful.
ELIZA's creator, Weizenbaum regarded the program as a method to show the superficiality of communication between man and machine, but was surprised by the number of individuals who attributed human-like feelings to the computer program, including Weizenbaum’s secretary.
Many academics believed that the program would be able to positively influence the lives of many people, particularly those suffering from psychological issues and that it could aid doctors working on such patients’ treatment.
First, the input is reviewed for syntactical patterns in order to establish the minimal context necessary to respond.
Using the keywords and other nearby words from the input, different disassembly rules are tested until an appropriate pattern is found.