This essay discusses current research efforts in conversational systems from the philosophy of science point of view and evaluates some conversational systems research activities from the standpoint of naturalism philosophical theory. Conversational systems or chatbots have advanced over the decades and now have become mainstream applications. They are software that users can communicate with, using natural language. Particular attention is given to the Alime Chat conversational system, already in industrial use, and the related research. The competitive nature of systems in production is a result of different researchers and developers trying to produce new conversational systems that can outperform previous or state-of-the-art systems. Different factors affect the quality of the conversational systems produced, and how one system is assessed as being better than another is a function of objectivity and of the relevant experimental results. This essay examines the research practices from, among others, Longino’s view on objectivity and Popper’s stand on falsification. Furthermore, the need for qualitative and large datasets is emphasized. This is in addition to the importance of the peer-review process in scientific publishing, as a means of developing, validating, or rejecting theories, claims, or methodologies in the research community. In conclusion, open data and open scientific discussion fora should become more prominent over the mere publication-focused trend.
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