Anyone with a phone knows computers can talk. Also, computers can respond to verbal commands. But now scientists at Duke University are developing software that allows a computer to have a conversation with a human being. The computer remembers what a person said to it early in a conversation and responds to questions with that information ``in mind.''

It is a rudimentary system - not like Hal in the movie 2001. But co-creator Alan Biermann does call it ``a conversation machine.''

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