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?
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?
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: 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?
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….