In-World, "Reba the Loon" is represented by her Crystal Ball, seen in loving SecondLife Machinima above.
Reba the Romany Elder [well, in truth Reba the Loon is a character name I borrowed from the Tom Waits song "Murder in the Red Barn" because I loved the imagery of an old chrone assumed mad only because of apprearance and manner of speech - how lovely SecondLife imitates FirstLife imitates Art doing an impression of something entirely different] now exists in MUD and MOO, she is a "thing" in SecondLife.
Now I move my attention to the new possibility of harnessing an out of world AIML bot to define the chat engine of a remote-controlled avatar.
Was asked if it is something that a "mere mortal" could attempt - I dunno. Best way to find out is to let this mere mortal [me] give it a whirl.
Interestingly, how often do we see label things as beyond what a "mere mortal" can do only because they are [at that time] outside their common experience. I can remember when I thought web page creation must be hard [before wysiwyg editors and all manner of smart tools] until I invested a little of my own time with someone who knew how to do it [shelly, you will _never_ appreciate the epiphany that that weekend workshop in 1992 caused], only to discover that it is manageably easy and for the most part understandable - I now merrily make web pages every bit as crap as professionals, but would not have, at the time i was about to acquire the skills, thought it possible. The "horizon" in webbing for me now is CSS [yes, I know you are prolly already proficient, but i am a complete n00b using them] and dynamic content and web2.0 and all that flashytwirly shizz.
Receding horizons I think it is called in the pooter industry ... that phenomenon that things are perceived as hard only until they are achieved and a new "vanishing point" emerges.
*tap tap tap* is this thing on? Is there anybody out there?