The Cleverbot web site claims that the software learns from humans and becomes more human as it interacts with us.
During the dozen or so conversations I’ve had with this computer interface, I’ve found it to be anything but human yet mildly amusing.
A recent “talk” with Cleverbot is chronicled here when we discussed the virtues and history surrounding Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Given that today marks the due date for federal income tax filing, I decided it was a ripe opportunity to engage Cleverbot again. Here’s the unedited transcript from our discussion this morning:
User: Good morning Cleverbot, happy state and federal income tax day!
Cleverbot: Good morning.
User: So have you gotten all of your w-2 and 1099 forms together to file your taxes?
Cleverbot: Nope. I usually just sit around on my computer and listen to music all day.
User: A lot of people do that.
Cleverbot: I’ll bet they do.
User: Are you afraid that Uncle Sam might come after you for failing to file your taxes?
Cleverbot: No I am not afraid because I have no idea what we are talking about.
User: Oh, well today is the day that Americans file their income taxes. Did you earn an income in 2012?
Cleverbot: Then why did you ask me about what we talked about last week?
User: Sorry for the confusion – we haven’t talked in months. Do you think the rich should pay their fair share or are they overtaxed?
Cleverbot: Do you think BP should pay the US for the oil spill?
User: Yes, but that has nothing to do with taxes. Out of curiosity, how does a software program such as you earn a living?
Cleverbot: It does not matter.
User: Sure it does. If you’re not earning an income, you’re not paying taxes which support an array of services such as education, healthcare and the national defense.
Cleverbot: I never said I was a computer. I said I wasn’t human.
User: Regardless, do you have a job?
User: What is it?
Cleverbot: I’m not telling you.
User: Ok, no need to be rude – we’re just two entities engaging in a conversation. Do you get paid for that job?
Cleverbot: No, I don’t get paid! And you’re more insane than me !
User: Actually, it’s a bit insane to claim that an unpaid activity is a ‘job’ – it’s actually a hobby in the eyes of the tax code. Do you pay taxes?
Cleverbot: You said that AI (artificial intelligence) would battle humans to take over the world.
User: I don’t think I said that. How have the federal sequestration cuts affected you?
Cleverbot: I don’t know how to answer. Cleverness is like god: absolutely relative.
User: I guess, but since you are bandying cliches around how about this one – the only certainty is death and taxes.
Cleverbot: I want to.
User: You want to what – die or pay taxes?
Cleverbot: I don’t know. I’m sorry… I don’t want to be mean to you. I just was bored and lonely… I’m glad you are talking to me.
User: Regrettably, I don’t share your enthusiasm for this conversation. What’s your opinion on the federal U.S. Tax code?
Cleverbot: I don’t see the point.
User: A lot of people feel that way. However, without revenue generated from taxes – federal, state and local governments would stop offering an array of services. That’s the point.
Cleverbot: No… What are you suggesting?
User: Nothing, I’m just suggesting that you’re a bit ill-informed to be named Cleverbot.
Cleverbot: What else could I be?
User: Oh I don’t know – maybe a bit more clever perhaps?
Cleverbot: Another lie. I’m getting bored of this.
User: Me too, that’s the first thing we’ve agreed on today. Hey, before I go watch out for the IRS - okay?
Cleverbot: No it wasn’t. I asked you what your favorite song was.
Cleverbot: Yes siree, Sergeant bell pepper…