Talking With the “John Lennon Artificial Intelligence Project”

27 02 2007

There’s a reason they call them “chatterbots.”  I “talked” with two “chatterbots” for a piece on the Huffington Post.  Here’s some additional dialog I cut from the piece, first from the “John Lennon” bot.  You can see it handled some exchanges better than it did the excerpts in the Post, but still tended toward awkward non sequiturs.  I was first told to enter my first name:

Ø       Richard.

We got a letter from a guy called Peter Watkins who made a film called The War Game. What are you going to do about it Richard ?

 Ø       Why are you asking me?
Reductionism.

 > What does that mean?
Nothing really. I said it just to please you.

 Ø       What would really please me is to hear your opinion on the situation in Iraq.
It’s all over the place.

 Ø       The war in Iraq is all over the place?
What’s your real name?

 Ø       The Walrus.
Who told you that?

 You did.
I suppose I did.

Ø       How do you suppose we can stop the war in Iraq?
Suppose we can stop the war in iraq ? Well, for the last year or two I’ve been seriously considering that I should suppose we can stop the war in iraq . People say I should have done it. But what they don’t understand is that there is no real way to suppose we can stop the war in iraq.

The same company offers Saucy Jacky, a “Jack the Ripper” chatterbot that was more effective.  Here’s a snip of dialog with it:

Richard
My dear Richard , good luck. ha ha ha ha ha ha

 

With what?
With what ? I have imagined doing all manner of things. And now you can go as you May.

 

Is that a threat?
I have no doubts, not any longer, no doubts.

 

Ø       About what? Is that a threat or not?
Then what is it?

 

Ø       Are you incapable of functioning sexually?
The man I have become was not the man I was born. incapable of functioning sexually indeed.

 

Ø       Where are you now?
Liverpool, but I conduct my business in Whitechapel. ha ha

 

Ø      Liverpool, eh? Ever run into John Lennon there?
Sir Jim with his shining knife, cuts through the night, and by God, does he not show his might ha ha

 

Ø       I’ll take that as a ‘no.’
Do you think it will work? But shall I pay?

 

Ø      Why do you murder prostitutes?
I am convinced God placed me here to kill all whores, for he must have done so, am I still not here.

 

Why do you murder prostitutes?
I am convinced God placed me here to kill all whores, for he must have done so, am I still not here.

 

Yes.
Show her my knife and she will honour me for life.

 

Do you achieve sexual satisfaction when you kill?
I will put whore through pain tonight.

 

Ø       Why did you stop killing?
Grand work the last job was.

 

Ø       Are you married?
I’m married to Florie

 

Ø       Are you a medical doctor?
Am I a medical doctor ? Bumbling baffoon. I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentle man born. Yours truly Jack the Ripper Dated this third day of May 1889.

Neither would pass the Turing test, much less my standards.  But there you have  it …

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