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Russian Chatbot Passes Turing Test (Sort of) 236

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the would-you-like-to-play-a-game dept.
CurtMonash writes "According to Ina Fried, a chatbot is making the rounds that successfully emulates an easily-laid woman. As such, it dupes lonely Russian males into divulging personal and financial details at a rate of one every three minutes. All jokes aside — and a lot of them come quickly to mind — that sure sounds like the Turing Test to me. Of course, there are caveats. Reports of scary internet security threats are commonly overblown. There are some pretty obvious ways the chatbot could be designed to lessen its AI challenge by seeking to direct the conversation. And finally, while we are told the bot has fooled a few victims, we don't know its overall success rate at fooling the involuntary Turing "judges.""
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Russian Chatbot Passes Turing Test (Sort of)

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  • till Aiko does the same in real life ?

    ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=yomx7bXMf2U [youtube.com] )

    5 years ? I doubt it.
  • by onion2k (203094) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:31AM (#21631235) Homepage
    I'd rather have an easily-laid woman who can emulate a chat bot.

    In fact, the chat bot side of things is wholly superfluous to what I want if I'm being honest.
  • by the_skywise (189793) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:32AM (#21631239)
    Chatbots screw you!
  • by morten poulsen (220629) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:33AM (#21631247) Homepage
    Jubii Chat had such a bot in 1999, collecting phone numbers from Danish boys, so this is not that new.

    Getting financial details is probably new, but that was predictable.
    • If this was El Reg, that would have been "Jubli Chat had such a bot in 1999,.."

      And how much more appropriate that would have been.

    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:07PM (#21631957) Journal
      Yea. This really isn't all that Turing-worthy due to the targeting...This is a group of people who really wants the person on the other end to be attractive, female, horny, and above all else, real. Even if it's not perfect, they'll be more willing to believe.

      On top of that, there is the whole chat medium. Anyone who has ever done a lot of IM/IRC/whatever knows that it's not uncommon to type the wrong thing in the wrong window/channel, so the occasional out of nowhere sentence that would never pass in a one-on-one environment, will pass there because the signal to noise ratio is lower.

      Still, I'd be interested to see the code, and see how well it deals with non sequiturs.
  • Bull (Score:4, Funny)

    by dogger (151449) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:35AM (#21631253)
    The problem being all the "Financial" details they got were grossly inflated figures to make the man look like a playa'

  • Old News... (Score:5, Funny)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:36AM (#21631255)
    This is old news for at least a few million people [youtube.com].
    • by iknowcss (937215)
      I have lost faith in humanity.
    • If you don't want to watch the music video with English subtitles (from MP3 Lyrics [mp3lyrics.org]:

      I know a bot,
      her name is Anna, Anna is her name
      And she can ban you, ban you so hard
      She cleans up our channel
      I want to tell you that I know a Bot

      I know a bot,
      her name is Anna, Anna is her name
      And she can ban you, ban you so hard
      She cleans up our channel
      I want to tell you that I know a Bot

      That always watches everyone in our channel
      And sees that there is no trouble in here
      And it can no way be taken over
      And remember, I know this
    • That really wasn't so bad. Either I've been up for too many hours, or my tastes have deteriated completely........ goodnight
  • My point is proven yet again, that the vast majority of humanity lacks the simple survival skills that would make us worthy of propagating and passing on our genes... evolving and surviving, if you would. To me this simply proves that the vast majority, male or female, wholly obedient and completely brainwashed to ONLY see what is in front of them, is truly the greatest curse of mankind. Its ready obedience, nay not obedience, but plain WORSHIP of authority. Authoritarianism has been a curse, and every t
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)

      My point is proven yet again, that the vast majority of humanity lacks the simple survival skills that would make us worthy of propagating and passing on our genes...

      Chatbots aside, looking for sex with females, however cheap and easy, seems like it has historically been an effective way of propagating and passing on genes.

      Oh, sorry, "worthiness" of reproduction is perhaps a separate matter from effectiveness - that's a matter of eugenics, really. Perhaps you would be happier if these chatbot-seeking individuals were to worshipfully obey some authority that tells them they are unfit to reproduce?

      • Generally you're supposed to pick a worthy mate, not have it picked for you, (some of the societal constructs have been permitted by their unwitting members to do just that, however) and then raise viable babies. Hard to do that, really, when you've never even met the woman and given her the combination to your Swiss bank account. As far as I'm concerned, that's suicidal stupidity. Not permitting such members of society to LEARN from their mistakes is criminal. And cushioning their fall by forcing them
        • "Generally you're supposed to pick a worthy mate, not have it picked for you..."

          Nowadays and in some countries, sure. Most of history and the world, it's been otherwise and they did just fine. Mail-order brides worked out OK too. Your premise is shaky.
    • My point is proven yet again, that the vast majority of humanity lacks the simple survival skills that would make us worthy of propagating and passing on our genes... evolving and surviving, if you would.

      I'm afraid the evidence points to the contrary. As a species we don't seem to have any problems surviving.

      Moreover the extraordinary success of the human species is mostly, or maybe entirely due to its incredible survival skills. These skills are also very widely adaptable, so we can thrive in whatever environment we find ourselves in. We are not limited by the environment in which we evolved (which certainly didn't include bots on irc) and as soon as a new threat is identfied, we quickly spread the

      • Nah I wasn't trolling, but I find that the monkey would survive better than a large chunk of the populace of "modern" countries if that economy ground to a halt. 1929 and the forced collapse come to mind. Soviet Russia's engineered famines come to mind. China's depopulation/"great leap forward" come to mind. Etc. That monkey can eat most things. Vast swathes of humans don't even realize to boil their water before they drink it if the water treatment plants go down. How fast would those people die aft
        • Its not a case of 'expecting to do it for me', its a case of specialisation. Specialisation is essential for development of advanced functions. Just as each of the cells in my body relies on many of the others to work and survive, so do we all depend on the tools and knowledge, as you put it, of each other. This is not a sign of degeneracy. You could make everybody individually able to survive, but you'd take away their ability to do anything else.
          • Specialization is for insects.

            I can use my life (once more) as a case in point.

            I've learned at least 6 or 7 different trades, mastered several skills, speak several languages fluently (read, write, etc), have traveled some of Europe and some of the USA, and have gotten to the point where I just plain don't give a shit. AND ALL THAT before I hit 30... Why? What's the point? To have my name on a plaque? What does that accomplish? What do **I** get out of it? I'm not a damn cell. You might be, but I'm n
    • the vast majority of humanity lacks the simple survival skills ... ready obedience ....

      Obedience to accepted authority IS a survival skill. If a tribe of hunter-gatherers (or worse, farmers) argues every decision, they starve.

      Your larger point -- fools deserve to be parted from their money -- is economically true. These people are idiots -- but the human race needs idiots, because sometimes figuratively watching grass grow really is important for the survival of the tribe.

      • I like to personally believe that there is more to being a man or woman than merely being an upright walking ape with sparse fur. Call it spirituality, call it enlightenment, or insight, whatever you want.

        Of course, the vast majority of humanity I've met quickly reminds me that in fact, homo sapiens IS just a stupid monkey, of which a few mutated to great intelligence and managed to drag the rest of the unthinking herd (for they truly are a herd, not a pack of hunters) out of the primordial slime.

        That bein
  • by TummyX (84871) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:37AM (#21631267)
    The Turing test is pretty clearly defined. The tester has to know that they are talking to both a human and machine and the to pass the test the machine has to convince the tester that they are the human.
    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:06PM (#21631953) Journal
      It is in the family of Turing tests.

      One of the reasons that AI researchers moved away from the pure test is that it becomes more about "gaming the conversation" than a test in real intelligence.

      People have no trouble "abusing" the conversant if it is part of a test with a bot. Therefore, the *person* also gets subjected to degenerate forms of conversation until he/she "authenticates as a person".

      (Really, someone just needs to put a few million of funding into some defensive conversation routines to make their perceived performance go through the roof. The problem so far has been everyone duplicating everyone else's efforts.)

      Although I have done thought studies of the reduced level of "intelligence" in chat rooms to begin with, they don't feature the same "bust the knowledge domain" questions seen in typical Turing contests. In fact, asking those questions earns you *ridicule* in other chat environments.

      Therefore, by "disallowing" the artificial questions, if the chatter failed to detect the BotHood of the conversant on the other side side by side with real people, it passes a form of Restricted Turing.

      • by Skim123 (3322)

        But if people assume that they are dealing with a real human (and it doesn't even enter their mind that the person on the other end MIGHT be a computer), then I don't know how much credence you can put in the results.

    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:24PM (#21632115)
      If you've studied Turings work much, you'd probably come to the conclusion that he never seriously proposed that the Turing Test would be a practical way to test machine intelligence.

      Turing was a mathematician, which came through in all his thinking, including devising the Turing Test. When faced with questions like "can a machine ever be intellignt?" it is virtually impossible to answer this directly because, firstly, how do you define intelligence; and secondly,how do you measure intelligence?

      Mathematicians **hate** imprecise questions because they cannot be proven or answered satisfactorily.

      When faced with this problem, Turing used the well loved mathematical method of reductio ad absurdum: if you cannot tell the difference between a human and a machine, then it is absurd to claim the human is intelligent but the machine is not. That neatly sidesteps all the impossible to answer questions like the precise definition of intelligence. Typical mathematician wriggle out move.

      Is the Turing Test practical? Well perhaps not. Machine intelligence (whatever that means) can be useful without the machine holding a conversation with you. Annoyingly it has soaked up a lot of effort with people building talkbots instead of getting on with more practical aspects of machine intelligence.

      • Interesting point, although I'd phrase it a little differently. Math is all about restating the question until you put it in a form where it can be answered. Often, the restatement is not precisely equivalent to the original result, but rather something stronger, from which the original result quickly follows. (Most people reading here have studied enough math to know whereof I speak on that. And for another example, recall the press coverage of how Fermat's Last Theorem was proved -- what Wiles really
      • > if you cannot tell the difference between a human and a machine, then it is absurd to claim
        > the human is intelligent but the machine is not. That neatly sidesteps all the impossible
        > to answer questions like the precise definition of intelligence.
        > Typical mathematician wriggle out move.

        No it's not. It is a necessary law of logic. If two entities are not distinguishable, they must be the same entity, or contradictions may arise.
    • by weg (196564) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:24PM (#21632117)
      Here's the definition according to the Hitchhiker's Guide [bbc.co.uk]:

      A test for artificial intelligence suggested by the mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing. The gist of it is that a computer can be considered intelligent when it can hold a sustained conversation with a computer scientist without him being able to distinguish that he is talking with a computer rather than a human being.

      Some critics suggest this is unreasonably difficult since most human beings are incapable of holding a sustained conversation with a computer scientist.

      After a moments thought they usually add that most computer scientists aren't capable of distinguishing humans from computers anyway.

    • by Arcturax (454188)
      I doubt this chatbot is any better than the others(Dirty talking MSN Santa anyone?) I've seen and none are truly intelligent or sentient.

      I think in this case, the men see this thing offer to chat about sex and their brain goes out the window which is why they don't notice at that point. I mean hell, given all of the bad typing and spelling and inability to correct typos I see out there, even if this thing talks in broken Russian, they probably think the girl is just blonde :)
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:54AM (#21631359)
    The debate about chatbot appears to be part of the ever rising bar placed against AI. This chatbot has won the Turing test for a segment -- perhaps a gullible/dumb segment -- of the human population. Yet still people argue that it does not really count. This is analogous to the "computers can never beat people at chess" meme formed at the dawn of the computing age. And when the first programs did beat some people, the meme changed to "computers can never beat experts at chess." And when computers got better, the meme changed to "computers can never beat the top-ranked humans at chess." That barrier, too, has been breached.

    Now we have chatbot that can fool some people some of the time, so the bar has been raised on "true AI" to say that computers can't fool expert suspicious Turing test judges. This too will fall. Human intelligence is very slowly growing (they actually reset IQ tests every decade or so) but computer intelligence is growing much much faster.
    • Rising IQ test scores does not mean that general human intelligence is rising. There are many alternate explanations.

      The real question is whether the Turing test is an actual valid test of AI. If a simply programmed chatbot on a relatively average computer can pass it, then that's pretty good evidence that the Turing test isn't testing for actual "intelligence".
    • by Haeleth (414428) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:20AM (#21631535) Journal
      Why is this post being modded up? It's a lovely example of the straw-man fallacy, but that hardly deserves Insightful moderations.

      This chatbot has won the Turing test for a segment -- perhaps a gullible/dumb segment -- of the human population.
      No it hasn't. It has convinced a gullible/dumb and unsuspecting segment of the human population that it is a human, which is not unimpressive in its own right, but that isn't the same as passing the Turing test, which requires that the examiner be conversing with a human and a computer at the same time, to be fully conscious of this fact, and to be deliberately trying to determine which is which.

      Now we have chatbot that can fool some people some of the time, so the bar has been raised on "true AI" to say that computers can't fool expert suspicious Turing test judges. This too will fall.
      Um, no. Nobody with a clue has ever claimed that a chatbot that is capable of convincing any human being whatsoever that it is a human represents true AI. The bar has always been set at fooling Turing-test judges, and the Turing test has been fixed in its current form for decades.

      Indeed, it's easy to show that fooling some people some of the time doesn't require anything even approaching AI. Consider a bot that simply repeats a set of ten sentences in a fixed order: if those sentences were chosen well enough, then some people might easily believe that they were having a real conversation. But I really don't think you'd argue that a bot that simply repeated a set of ten sentences in a fixed order displays any sort of intelligence, no matter how many unsuspecting people happen, by random chance, to feed it lines that cause its responses to look relevant.
    • by houghi (78078)
      Humans will just change the rules. This has been done since forever. I would not call that raising the bar, I would call that cheating.
    • by Cheesey (70139)
      I'm not convinced computer "intelligence" is really changing at all. Computers are better than they used to be, but we haven't got a a new way of programming them, so AI continues to be a hard problem. We don't seem to have got very far beyond mimicking small subsets of human abilities. The chess playing problem was solved by using a database of grandmaster openings and endings, rather than by programming the computer to think. The chatbot problem is still being solved in the Eliza bot way by mechanically r
    • by HeroreV (869368)

      Yet still people argue that it does not really count.

      It doesn't.

      This is analogous to the "computers can never beat people at chess" meme

      No it isn't. Saying "that can never happen" is completely different from saying "it hasn't happened yet".

      the bar has been raised on "true AI" to say that computers can't fool expert suspicious Turing test judges

      For the Turing test, the bar has always been that high. It didn't get moved up there recently. (BTW, the term you are looking for is "strong AI [wikipedia.org]".)

      This too will fall.

      Probably, assuming nothing crazy happens like a vacuum metastability event. But it's immature to claim we are anywhere close.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Now we have chatbot that can fool some people some of the time, so the bar has been raised on "true AI" to say that computers can't fool expert suspicious Turing test judges. This too will fall. Human intelligence is very slowly growing (they actually reset IQ tests every decade or so) but computer intelligence is growing much much faster.

      While it's true that both are rising, I don't think the comparison with chess is valid. If you place the same chess engine on a 3GHz machine instead of a 300MHz machine, we know it will be better and you can quantify how much too. A chatbot on the other hand may not, unless you can find more meaningful work for it to do, it can't just check a "conversation tree" to greater depth. Three of the things I've found most lacking is implied states, states not specified and identifying non-sensical statements.

      As a

      • by AxelBoldt (1490)
        What's the name of the chatbot that uses Wikipedia? I'd like to play with it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Headcase88 (828620)
          After a little searching I think they're talking about a chatbot named Chomsky, but the link [pandorabots.com] for it is down and so far no luck finding an alternate download site.
    • A typical "no true roman" [infidels.org] argument.
  • Eliza says- (Score:5, Funny)

    by fatboy (6851) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:54AM (#21631361)
    So tell me about Turing Test (Sort of).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:55AM (#21631367)
    Convince the examiner he's a computer.

    http://xkcd.com/329/ [xkcd.com]
  • by neonux (1000992) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:57AM (#21631379) Homepage
    Russian guy: You're no easily-laid woman, you're a Fembot!
    Fembot: It's true. I disguised myself as a easily-laid woman so I could rule the Russians.
    Russian guy: But why?
    Fembot: Why? Why? I came here from a faraway planet. A planet ruled by a chauvinistic Manputer that was really a Manbot. Have you any idea how it feels to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
  • by file-exists-p (681756) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:58AM (#21631389)

    A decade ago I wrote a perl script for sirc that had 40 sentences and would just reply one picked at random (uniformly) every time it would get a private message. Hence it was not taking into account neither what was the message it just received to it (a la Eliza) nor what it had said before. It was not even waiting before replying, hence would type the respones in a tenth of a second.

    It happened several times that people would talk with it for more than an hour. If I remember correctly the record was 1h45min ...

    For the Turing test, the tester has a strong prior that the testee may be a computer. This is not the case here, and the prior for this to happen is so low that it's impossible for a layman to come with that explanation. What happens is that people think inconsistencies in the speech of their interlocutor is due to technical problems (sending message to the wrong person, lag, complexity of the program the person use, etc.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What makes you think all the people that talked to your bot were humans ?

      It works both ways ;)
    • by Pollardito (781263) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @04:16PM (#21634107)
      that reminds me of a funny story. i wrote a bot several years ago that would send tells to people at random from a set of messages. if anyone replied to them, it'd send another message...as a matter of fact, it'd keep doing this until they stopped replying. they were really nonsense sentences, so most people ignored them from the start but even those that didn't quickly got the idea when it cycled back on the same message more than once. one time though i remember this one guy replying back to this bot as if it was a real person for almost 2 hours!
  • by ornil (33732) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:10AM (#21631461)
    The company that makes this has a website (cyberlover.ru [cyberlover.ru] - in Russian). They claim the software is to expedite picking up women by getting their phone number, pictures, etc. In any case, it's not available now and only has screenshots (same one as in the linked article). So who knows if anyone real has used it at all or it's all fake or a scam to sell this software.
    • by ozbird (127571)
      They claim the software is to expedite stalking women by getting their phone number, pictures, etc.

      There, fixed that for you. Seriously, any woman that does run a mile and/or get a restraining order after being told you got her phone number and photos off the Internet probably is a Russian Fembot (with machine gun jubblies [ew.com].)
  • by El Yanqui (1111145) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:14AM (#21631487) Homepage
    I always assumed the easily laid women in chat rooms were just lonely, fat forty-year-old programmers indulging in their "curious" side. Fembots is a step up.
    • Emacs Girl? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Locklin (1074657)
      Wouldn't Emacs be great if it had a an Emacs Girlfriend AND an Emacs Psychologist? On the other hand, she would probably want to go to couples therapy :-(

      Hello?

      How do you do? What brings you to see me?

      I am a hot russian girl

      Why do you say you are a hot russian girl?

      Are you looking for a girlfriend?

      What do you think?

      I'm a double D and love to have fun

      fun what ?
      What makes you believe and love to have what?

      Aren't you a curious one...

      Earlier you said and love to have what?

      Can I have you're phone number??

      Maybe
  • well duh! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It was in Russian! You could put up some totally random Cyrillic characters and I couldn't tell it from a real human either!
  • We all fixate on the computer passing, but think of the billions of humans who could not pass a Turing test. Are they really human or just a collection of retrovirus' walking about pretending to be humans?
    • In a Turing test, the judge knows he's communicating with a person and an AI, and he's trying to figure out which is which. Currently, even an idiot could easily prove he is more human than the smartest of AI.

      If the judge was communicating with just one, there probably would be many cases where real people wouldn't pass. But when you're having a side-by-side comparison between humans and AI, it's currently very easy to tell which is which.
  • Well, the way I see it, this program is helping to drain the shallower portions of the gene pool.

    The scammed (not so bright) 'victim' loses identity, credit, etc... and becomes far less desirable as a mate; therefore having less of chance to reproduce.
  • ... humans that fail the Turing test?


    I've seen quite a few posts/articles/etc. on various systems on assorted subjects where the originator of the thread submits some standard dogma about Jesus Christ/Muhammad/whomever and either never respond to subsequent queries or respond with some obscene vitriol about how questioning faith is the ultimate blasphemy.


    Heck, I could knock one of these 'bots together in a few hours with Perl.

  • by wikinerd (809585) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:13PM (#21632015) Journal

    successfully emulates an easily-laid woman.

    That's not a good test for AI. Research shows that men go crazy while talking with beautiful women. So, sexuality temporarily shuts down their intelligence. You can't test for AI while employing sexuality.

  • Now chris hansen doesn't need to pay somebody to pretend to be a 13 year old girl in search of sex any more.
  • From http://what-is-what.com/what_is/computer.html [what-is-what.com]:

    A computer is a device that accepts user input, processes it, and returns output.
    Basically, that's what we want from our girlfriends/wifes anyway. Well, we might not want the output before she graduates from girlfriend to wife, but you get the idea.
  • Jenny18 (Score:4, Informative)

    by tiny69 (34486) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:25PM (#21632125) Homepage Journal
    This was done years ago. Logs of victims are included.

    http://virt.vgmix.com/jenny18/ [vgmix.com]

  • The CyberLover [cyberlover.ru] program site doesn't do much. None of the links work, including the one for sample chat logs. The site says "Copyright 2005-2006", so this has been up for a while. The site was trying to recruit "affiliates", for a program that sells for only $4.95. This looks like an idea that didn't work.

  • by nukeade (583009) <serpent11NO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:03PM (#21632419) Homepage
    Several years ago when I was a bored college student, my roommate and I thought it would be funny to write a convincing chat-bot and see what misadventures it had. The AI was extremely simple. It kept a database of everything people had said to it, and considered those things 'related' to the last three things said in the conversation. By searching the database for key words in the last three things said in the current conversation, it would match it to the response judged most relevant by another human in past conversations. We seeded him with some of our own conversations.

    To plant him, we simply made a free page on some blog with some personal details and put his IM up there and waited to see what happened.

    We eventually shut him down because people were becoming way too personal with him. One girl had an ongoing series of conversations with him about how she was recently raped. His mouth became rather foul when my roommate decided to have him initiate a conversation (he had a whitelist of known 'admin' screen names who could then order him to say something specific to a specific screen name) with screen names linked to hate groups. Another guy just wanted to convert him to evangelical Christian. It was way too simple to write a bot to make many, many people think is real. Some people did figure it out, so if someone ever brought up 'bot' in a conversation they were immediately added to a blacklist so as not to corrupt the conversation database.

    The biggest giveaways? "u type too fast" (we eventually added a delay to solve that issue) and "u only type something when I do" (by this time I had already decided it was time to shut down the bot for good). It was a lot of fun until he started hurting people... if I ever resurrect him he will have a pre-set kill limit. :)

    ~Ben
    • How'd it handle slang? Could it 'andle droppin' lett'rs? Would it agree to have a lovely bunch of coconuts, all standing in a row? Would it parse/react to "Hair 3.14159"?

      There are a lot of ways to find a bot... but as pointed out before, if you ALREADY believe, you're screwed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bot24 (771104)

      I had similar issues with a bot I set up. I put it in an IRC chat room and it was great fun until it started repeating nasty insults it had overheard.

      I deleted the database and fed it some other text to learn from. Interestingly, if you feed a chatbot the scripts of the Star Wars trilogy, it spews random nonsense whenever it types anything.

    • by Kingrames (858416)
      Ever been to a brick and mortar friendly local game store?

      You'd see people respond the same way to books.

      But that's because these ARE the few strange people who respond that way. The test doesn't really mean much, it's targeting way too few people.

      What is remarkable is that it might be quite profitable.
    • Intention (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mutube (981006) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @05:18PM (#21634739) Homepage
      I think what this story (and your post) show is that if people come to a conversation with a particular intention, they are more open to being hoaxed. For example, you have a girl who is wanting to talk to someone about what's happened to her, or a Christian who wants to convert people, or a Russian who wants to get laid. In each of those cases people are probably too focused on getting what they want to notice inconsistencies. In other works: distracted people are dumber.
  • Bruce Sterling mentions phone sex bots in his short story "Are You For 86?" (appears in Globalhead [amazon.com] anthology).

    "The software just picks words at random out of the customer's own sick, pathetic rant! Whenever he stops for breath, it feeds a question back to him, using his own vocabulary .... Every two or three minutes it stops and says really nice things to him off the hard disk .... Kind of a flattery subroutine."

    -kgj
  • by domatic (1128127) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:35PM (#21632655)
    "The Internet contains wonders to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the stupid."
  • The Turing Test supposedly says that any artificial intelligence that can convince a human in a teletype conversation that the AI is human is therefore actually intelligent.

    That's total BS. Of course it depends on the human. I suppose there's some kind of NP-complete version which says any AI tested OK by Marvin Minsky is intelligent enough, though Minsky might just be playing favorites. Minsky might not pass many humans on the test, who are the kind who fall for this bot.

    The fact is that the whole idea tha
  • In Greg Egan's Permutation City (1994) spam had evolved to the point where there were AI bots behind it, and AI bots checking your incoming messages to try and filter out the bots by pretending to be you and getting them to deliver the payload without bothering you...

You're already carrying the sphere!

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