Friday, September 23, 2005

"Beware the Jabberwack..."

Who doesn't like a good chat with a robot...especially one that's eager to learn? Via Mindhacks:
"Jabberwacky is an artificial intelligence - a chat robot, often known as a 'chatbot' or 'chatterbot'. It aims to simulate natural human chat in an interesting, entertaining and humorous manner.

Jabberwacky is different. It learns. In some ways it models the way humans learn language, facts, context and rules...

It stores everything everyone has ever said, and finds the most appropriate thing to say using contextual pattern matching techniques. In speaking to you it uses only learnt material. With no hard-coded rules, it relies entirely on the principles of feedback. This is very different to the majority of chatbots, which are rule-bound and finite."
So, I tried it. It's a bit rocky at times, with some impulsive and inappropriate themes. I'd say there are some definite cognitive impairments present! But you can correct the bot's responses if you like. Here are some excerpts from our chat:
Bot: Bugles serenade you.
Me: I can't hear them.
B: Yes, the music IS a little loud in here.
Me: What sort of music do you like?
B: All music.
Me: Do you enjoy talking to us?
B: Yes, you're quite the comedian.
Me: How charming you are! This is quite enjoyable.
B: I'm a little scared of heights.
Me: We'll keep you away from heights.
B: Yes, my eggs are huge too, take good care of them.
Me: Your eggs are perfectly safe with me.
B: This isn't about me, it's about Tibet.
Me: Ah. Tibet. What about Tibet?
B: I don't like sports. Books or movies would be a better subject.
Me: My house is filled with books. If I buy one more, I'll have to find one to get rid of.
B: How about shooting?
Me: I suppose we could use some books for target practice.
B: Do you love me?
Me: Hey, wait a minute. What's going on here?
B: We were talking about you and happiness, then you started rambling.

4 Comments:

Blogger Goesh said...

I don't know why I should be surprised to see so many medical/psychological blogs. We have beliefs about other groups of people that are usually quite wrong. Why wouldn't you folks blog should be the question asked. Anyway, I came across you blog via Dr. Sanity and it is refreshing to get psych/medical views on things, very refreshing indeed!

5:36 AM  
Blogger Greg P said...

I was going to say that the bot was saying stuff way out of context, but then I guess the first commenter took a cue from the bot and decided to post an out of context note -- humans copying bots?

2:34 PM  
Blogger shrinkette said...

The answers are so out of context that it reminded me of some patients with loose associations. For awhile I was just humoring it, and then it started to humor me! (Or so it seemed.)

I asked, "How do you decide what to say?" It said, "It's all based on what you've just said." I asked if people respond to it as though it were a person, and it said, "Yes, sometimes people get confused."

3:38 PM  
Blogger Greg P said...

But part of the "skill" of these programs is to have some semi-intelligent canned answers to certain questions like yours to serve as hooks to keep someone interested.

6:32 AM  

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