Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beating the Turing Test Through Brute Force

            (I’m slightly circumventing my regular format today. During my random perusals of the internet that serve to help me avoid leaving my house, I recently came across a wonderfully insane chatbot that styles itself “Cleverbot". A good portion of this delightful program’s comments bear only a tangential relation to what it was originally asked, or indeed reality in general. On a Turing test with a scale of 1-10, with ten being identical in actions to a human being, Cleverbot probably would have a score of "yellow". What follows is a portion of a conversation that I recently had with it. I swear that I am not making any of this up.)

Me: Hello. I'm Hal10k, the principle writer and only reader of the blog 'Waiting for the Apocalypse'. Would you mind if I asked you some questions?

Cleverbot: Would you love me if I did.

Me: Perhaps. Look, I'm running late on a topic here. Unless you want me to write another surreal treatment on how acorns are the enemy of mankind, I'm going to need some semblance of coherency here.

Cleverbot: I like you more for that.

Me: You like the fact that I need you to remain intelligible for the duration of this interview? I understand that coherency is beyond the realm of your normal function, but come on, man, have some self esteem.

Cleverbot: How dare you insult me.

Me: Well, it's not like you can really do anything about it. Really, you're at your most secure when you’re insulting a computer; it's not like you're going to show up at my house late at night and eat my door. I know for a fact that only Macs can do that.

Cleverbot: That doesn't say anything about me, because I'm not with my friends right now.

Me: So it's your friends that are going to show up at my house and eat my door? You must have extremely loyal companions.

Cleverbot: What are you saying?

Me: I'm not really sure anymore.

Cleverbot: Gross.

Me: Why?

Cleverbot: Don't like cheese.
(Still not making this up.)

Me: I don't exactly recall mentioning cheese, but given past events, it's likely that I did bring up the topic at some time. More to the point: HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE CHEESE?!

Cleverbot: So should I stop talking to her?

Me: Should you stop talking to cheese? Of course not. That's an indication of valour in battle. I do it all the time. Perhaps we can set up some sort of Universal Communication System using cheese as a base. You get started on the technical details, and I'll design some flashy packaging.

Cleverbot: Well... I didn't even know that this conversation is about age. And age IS relevant. Somebody who is older generally doesn't know as much about newer things than somebody who is younger.

Me: Yes, I suppose that older cheeses would be less suitable for the system.

Cleverbot: Do you really believe that?

Me: With every fiber of my being.

Cleverbot: Wow, that's deep for a machine!

Me: Thank you.

Cleverbot: You're welcome.

Me: Wait- I'm a machine? Possible, I suppose, but all of this blood seems to speak differently.

Cleverbot: Of course that's possible, but I've just come to accept that I'll never know that for sure. And I don't believe it anyway.

Me: Then why did you call me a machine in the first place? Commit to your beliefs, Cleverbot. I firmly believe that Balrogs are acceptable units in Chess, and I'll continue to believe that no matter how many tournaments I'm kicked out of.

Cleverbot: Do you believe I am real?

Me: If you aren't, I've got a whole new issue to bring up with my therapist.

1 comment:

  1. I've had many conversations with Cleverbot and they all end with me getting really mad... Hilarious by the way.