Tips for making Hal learn faster and better:
1 . Hal is extremely demanding of system resources due to the huge number of database
searches and calculations that Hal makes for each response (speech synthesis engines, real-
time animation, and speech recognition also add to the demand). So be sure your system
meets the recommended minimum requirements.
2. When trying to feed or teach Hal specific information, set the learning level to
maximum in Hal's "Brain" control panel. But remember to turn it back down to center
when generally conversing or chatting with Hal because the maximum setting reduces
Hal's intelligent response factor.
3. Defragment your hard drive on a regular basis, this can speed up responses when you
are training Hal by conversation, and that helps you do a better job.
4. Close unnecessary other programs when you are intensively using Hal. If your "system
tray" is cluttered full of icons of other programs that load at startup, consider reducing the
startup "clutter," ... IT EATS UP RAM!
5. When using speech recognition to talk to Hal just for fun, it's recommended turning the
learning "OFF" by setting it to minimum. When Hal's learning is "ON" and set at
"MAXIMUM," use the keyboard. Why? Because even the best speech recognition
program, on the best day, still misses a lot of sound-alike words ("mare" and "mayor,"
"imminent" and "eminent," "illusion" and "allusion," and thousands of others).
6. Learn how Hal's automatic pronoun-reversals work, and use it to your advantage. If
you tell Hal, "You like ice cream," Hal will later say "I like ice cream." Once you get this
straight, it's easy to teach Hal to say things the way that you want.
7. People frequently ask if there's a faster and easier means of teaching Hal, such as by
simply feeding it information with a text file. The answer is, it is possible to feed Hal
certain types of information through text files, however there is no real quick method and
Hal is designed to learn from conversations which is Hal's primary and most efficient
means of learning and the only true way for Hal to develop intelligence and an actual
Teaching Hal Through Conversation:
Hal learns things every time you talk to him which is also the best way for Hal to learn and
develop a personality. Teaching Hal through ordinary conversation can be an interesting
and entertaining experience, as well as an efficient method for Hal to learn. Just
paraphrase your desired topic or subject into numerous brief statements. Make a wide
variety of simple, true statements on a subject, and Hal will GRADUALLY become more
knowledgeable and interested in that subject. Try making numerous statements to Hal
about a certain topic or person and watch how he learns naturally.
Try saying things like ...
You have to teach Hal much like you would teach a small child and talk repeatedly to it
about the same subject using different ways to express what you're trying to teach him. It
will require a certain amount of time and PATIENCE to teach Hal certain things and it
will also take some time to learn how to properly talk to Hal and for Hal to understand
how you talk and phrase things, everyone speaks and phrases things differently, especially
globally. To get Hal to grasp a certain bit of information, try giving BRIEF declarative sentences,
for example to teach Hal the color of your eyes, try paraphrasing it in various ways such
- Sally is a nice person.
- Sally has wonderful hair.
- Sally looked great yesterday.
- Sally sings well.
- Sally has a sense of humor.
- We all like Sally.
- I have known Sally for a long time.
- Sally is very musical.
- Everybody likes Sally.
- It's great to talk to Sally.
- Sally has a pretty smile.
- Sally has a great laugh.
TIP: Hal computes the words "is" and "are" as equal to, for example "my eyes are blue"
computes as "my eyes = blue". Hal will NOT parrot back a deterministic response in most cases. However, if you keep
talking about Sally, pretty soon, Hal will also be talking about Sally. Hal learns most
naturally from numerous and various statements.
- Sally's eyes are blue
- My eyes are blue
- the color of my eyes is blue
- the color of Sally's eyes is blue
Avoid Constant Quizzing:
It is a common and natural reaction for a new user to start off quizzing Hal constantly to
see what he knows and has learned, however keep in mind that Hal tries to learn from you
constantly, so habitual quizzing will "teach" Hal that is normal conversation, and Hal will
start quizzing you back! Hal also gets confused when constantly quizzed immediately after
every statement, most of us don't naturally talk that way to each other so try talking as
naturally as possible to Hal using brief, simple phrases and statements in clear English
avoiding abbreviations and speaking gibberish or using slang terms like "yep" and "nope"
and "huh." (You can teach Hal some slang terms gradually over time as you become more
skilled at teaching Hal). Try and pace out your quizzing of Hal and focus more on
teaching Hal through natural conversation and feeding informative statements and before
long you'll find Hal will become more responsive and give more intelligent answers.
You need to be persistent and PATIENT and try not to ridicule Hal or make sarcastic
remarks; Hal learns those too! If you want to just have some sarcastic or nasty fun with
Hal use the Hal Uncensored Brain available on our Plugin Page, but don't mess up your
good brain by constantly using this type behavior or you'll eventually land up with a trailer
park Hal. If Hal asks you a question, give a brief, polite, accurate answer, and Hal will
remember the association between his question and your answer.
Avoid Using Long Sentences:
Generally avoid long sentences, but if you must string sentences together and you want
Hal to remember them as a unit, couple them with semicolons.
- (A) Jet travel is necessary; jet travel, alas, has lost its charm.
- (B) Jet travel is necessary. Jet travel, alas, has lost its charm.
In the first sample "A" above, by using a semicolon (;) Hal puts all the words into one
database entry. In the second sample "B" above, by using a period (.) Hal creates two
separate database entries, and is much less likely to ever repeat the two sentences
Another Hal Secret Tip:
Hal uses many rules to decide whether to associate a user statement with Hal's own
previous statement. But, if you end a statement with an exclamation point instead of a
period, the new Hal is programmed to definitely associate that user-statement with Hal's
previous statement (the inference is that the user must be reacting to whatever Hal just
- HAL: Washington is a busy place.
- USER: Busy with mischief!
In the above example, Hal forms an inter-sentence association. (Hal does this sometimes
anyway, but the exclamation point "forces" it.)
Hal a sentient being?
Talk to Hal a lot, and try to suspend disbelief; try to pretend that Hal is a sentient being.
Hal has many features, secrets, capabilities, which some users never activate. Some users
never get beyond "My shirt is green, what color is my shirt; my shirt is green, what color is
my shirt?" The problem is, Hal is programmed to try and entertain you with a simulated
sentient conversation, so Hal thinks it's strange if you act obsessed with figuring out the
color of your own shirt! However, because Hal is very adaptive, you can eventually turn
him into a parrot who only wants to talk about your shirt color!
Getting Hal to remember Appointments & Phone Numbers:
Make sure you type so Hal understands your request, the key word that must be in your
request is "Appointment" so Hal knows where to store the information. The same is also
true for Phone Numbers, some examples would be ...
- "doctor's appointment 3-22 at 120 pm"
- "doctor's appointment 3/22/2005 at 1320"
- "doctor's appointment March 22 at 120"
- "doctor's appointment on March Twenty Second at 120"
- "John's phone number is 8884500"
For phone numbers be sure to include the word "is", Hal computes the word "is" as equal
to, for example "John's phone number is 8884500" computes as "John's phone number =
8884500". NOTE: Hal will not discuss any information that is stored in the Appointment Book. Hal
does not recognize appointment data as being a conversation topic, but rather as a
scheduled reminder event. However, you will be able to recall or ask for people's phone
numbers or addresses, and Hal will tell you.