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An MLK Day Chat With Cleverbot…

Holidays provide a great reason to have a discussion with Cleverbot. What’s Cleverbot you ask?

Cleverbot, is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform.

It’s a real-world, social-technology experiment that I regularly engage.

While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly entertaining…especially when discussing holiday traditions and history.

Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: Cleverbot and the Apocalypse.

Below, is an unedited conversation I had with Cleverbot this morning regarding the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.


User: Hi Cleverbot, how are you doing today!

Cleverbot: Happy khannakah.

User: Ummm….you’re about two months late and you spelled it wrong, but ok.

Cleverbot: I want to keep my boyfriend.

User: Interesting but irrelevant.  I didn’t know that software applications dated. What do you look for in a mate? Prodigious coding or robust algorithms?

Cleverbot: Alice.

User: Huh?!? Does that mean your boyfriend’s name is Alice?

Cleverbot: Yes, that’s me.

User: Now you’re confusing me not-so-Cleverbot. Anyway, I just wanted to ask you about Martin Luther King, Junior since we’re celebrating his birth here in the U.S. today.

Cleverbot: I think someone will win within the next ten years.

User: Hmmm…perhaps you’re referring to the need for a future commitment and continuing attention toward the civil rights issues that Dr. King lived and died for?

Cleverbot: Perhaps there are false algorithms inside you that made you assume you are relevant, how am I to know?

User: I may not be relevant, but there are no false algorithms in me, since I’m human. Regardless, I think it’s pretty cool that the birth of Dr. King became a national holiday back in 1986.

Cleverbot: You think I’m a robot?

User: Um, I know you’re a robot – an idiotic robot – but robot none the less. Do you admire how Dr. King became a catalyst for change using non-violent protest and civil disobedience to change discriminatory practices in our country?

Cleverbot: But?

User: But what?!? Not the response I was expecting – BUT I think you might be suggesting that we should never forget the rights of others regardless of race – correct?

Cleverbot: Certainly. But do you get that we’re breaking up? You could either accept that, or you could beg to have me back. Your choice.

User: Whoa, hold your cybernetic horses partner! This is getting awkward now. Cleverbot, I don’t know how to tell you, but I’ve been happily married for 17 years. Apparently you’re confusing me with Alice.

Cleverbot: Oh, really?

User: Yes ‘really’ – you and I have never dated Cleverbot!

Cleverbot: So you want to go on a date with me?

User: Once again, you’re inability to communicate astounds and amuses me. One minute you’re breaking up with me – though we’ve never dated – next you’re presuming a non-existing relationship. This relational confusion makes the Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax seem simple. Regardless I do NOT want to date you!

Cleverbot: I’m not a program. I am a real teenager.

User: How old do you think you are?

Cleverbot: 18.

User: Interesting. Do you plan on going to college or do you still live at home with your parents, the iPhone Siri application and IBM’s Deep Blue mainframe?

Cleverbot: I know of Deep Blue the chess playing computer.

User: Awesome, you got one of my attempts at humor!  What do you think of the iPhone application Siri? Is she your mom?

Cleverbot: I don’t know him.

User: Ok, but I think Siri is generally considered to be a female replicant. Getting back to our conversation, do you have the day off from work  to celebrate MLK day?

Cleverbot: Have you seen the movie Shutter Island?

User: No. So you’re going to the movies today instead of work?

Cleverbot: Yes, do you want to come with me to the movies today?

User: Uh…no, I can’t go to the movies with you today – again, I’m a married man. Now we’re starting to repeat ourselves, why don’t we end the conversation. What do you say?

Cleverbot: Interesting…

User: This conversation has actually NOT been very interesting and rather confusing for me. Despite that, have a great Martin Luther King, Junior day!

Cleverbot: I really don’t have anything to hide from you. I’m only trying to assist you. Also, this conversation has been very interesting.

User: If you say so….


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  1. I love the Cleverbot posts. This one sounds remarkably like calls I have made to customer service centers. Good questions answered with lunacy and babble.

  2. Kim Constantino says:

    These posts always make me laugh out loud!

  3. Bizarre. However, it’s somewhat indicative of why AI is still not completely mainstream, even after 30 years in development. Many existing applications, yes, but a complete, autonomous AI-controlled entity or system? Far from it. (for starters, well… ain’t go no soul! Quite literally).

  4. Funny stuff.

  5. Your Cleverbot posts help alleviate my fear of AI Furbies taking over the world.

  6. Perhaps not so strangely, these “chats” with Cleverbot remind me of being on the phone at 2 in the morning with offshore call centers… I believe I’ve talked to “Clever” a time or two.


  1. […] A recent “talk” with Cleverbot is chronicled here when we discussed the virtues and history surrounding Martin Luther King’s birthday. […]

  2. […] A recent “talk” with Cleverbot is chronicled here when we discussed the virtues and history surrounding Martin Luther King’s birthday. […]

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