Maksim Kotov

Date of Award


First Advisor

Aaron Williams

Second Advisor

Jackson Liscombe

Third Advisor

Amanda Landi


Recent years have seen a wide-spread adoption of conversational interfaces. Conversational agents, commonly referred to as chatbots, are programs that can exhibit human-like conversational behavior. They are taking over messaging platforms, redefining marketing and replacing human workers in customer support centers. However, there exists healthy skepticism on whether chatbots can deliver on what has been promised. This thesis aims to cover the main points of mismatch between the actual technology and its public perception by providing historical context for understanding modern chatbots. We consult Turing's ground-laying work to figure out why people were interested in talking to computers in the first place, highlight the role of dialogue systems in the general field of AI research and follow conversational agents on their journey for recognition, funding and purpose. We apply our findings by analyzing potential applications for chatbots within the Simon’s Rock campus and community.

Simon's Rock Off-campus Download

Simon's Rock students and employees can log in from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Simon's Rock username and password.