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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….


  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    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.

  • Kim Constantino

    These posts always make me laugh out loud!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Rodgers/1068318674 Bruce Rodgers

    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).

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Funny stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/JeffLorow Jeff Lorow

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

  • http://randomlychad.com Chad Jones

    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.

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