The Companions project is a 4 year, EU funded Framework Programme 6 project involving a consortium of 16 partners across 8 countries. Its aim is to develop a personalised conversational interface, one that knows and understands its owner, and can access resources on the Internet. It does this whilst nurturing an emotional, psychological and social involvement from its owner (user seems an inappropriate term in this context). In doing this it will change interactions to relationships. On a technical level it intends to push the state of the art in machine based natural language understanding, knowledge structures, speech recognition and text to speech.