Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Brookies Versus Cleverbot

In the aftermath of Watson, the IBM computer that dominated Jeopardy last week, I've been thinking a lot about the practicality of this kind of artificial intelligence. Information organization, like that of the audio-visual encyclopedia Qwiki seem like the most obvious uses (though there are others). To get an idea of how this might work I decided to do my own type of Turing test and see if I could outwit a computer. As my opponent I chose, an interactive website that can mimic human conversations. With my wife by my side, we tried to prove that it was not a human:
User: Hello.
Cleverbot: Hello Hello.
User: How do I know you're not a robot?
Cleverbot: Well duh i'm not a robot.
User: What was your childhood like?
Cleverbot: Good enough I suppose.
Just generic enough. So we decided to ask it a trick question that only a robot could answer.
User: What is 50000.4 x 40000.5?
Cleverbot: Stop, now! I'm no calculator!
Dang. Okay, how about a question that only a human could answer.
User: What is your mother's name?
Cleverbot: I never told you her name, so I'm not telling you now.
User: What's love got to do with it?
Cleverbot: Love means nothing, peace means everyrthing.
Then we noticed something unusual.
User: Why did you misspell the word 'everyrthing'?
Cleverbot: I didn't.
User: Yes you did.
Cleverbot: No I didn't.
User: Prove it.
Cleverbot: Look at the log of our conversation.
We started getting frustrated.
User: Are you a robot.
Cleverbot: I'm not a robot.
User: Prove that you are not a robot,.
Cleverbot: How would you like me to prove that I am not a robot?
Then it occurred to me. It will be difficult to trick it using text. So how about sound.
User: What am I trying to communicate?: Hollow eye ham a niece pearson..
Cleverbot: That has nothing to do with the conversation.
User: Yes it does. I'm trying to find out if you are a robot. Answer my question.
Cleverbot: No, you weren't.
User: Look at the log of our conversation.
I'll count that as a victory for the humans.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.