Chatbot Nonsense
2014/06/09 (320 words)

There has been a lot of coverage recently about a chat-bot “Eugene Goostman” passing a variance of the Turing test by convincing 30% of the testers that it was indeed a human by posing as Ukrainian 13 year old boy (to make misspellings and grammar mistakes forgivable I suppose).

Naturally I had to give it a try and frankly I can’t see how something like this could convince anyone that its a living human being. I asked a few questions such as the following “Whereabouts in the Ukraine do you live?” the response being “It is a country in SE Europe that’s all I can tell you” which is not exactly promising.

For fun I scripted it up against a copy of the Eliza chat-bot and had them talk among themselves. A quick excerpt is included below and is rather amusing.

Eliza: Is it important to you that your attitude to I ?
Eugene: It is highly possible. It is highly possible.
Eliza: Lets discuss further why your feelings right now.
Eugene: Just because 2 plus 2 is 5! Wonna ask me something more?
Eliza: Don't any other reasons come to mind ?
Eugene: Is it a kind of manace? Maybe, let's talk about something else? What would you like to discuss?
Eliza: Why the uncertain tone ?
Eugene: Why? Just because! :) Why? Just because! :)
Eliza: Why do you ask ?
Eugene: Oh, but why not? Well, let's go on though.
Eliza: Are such questions much on your mind ?
Eugene: Who knows... Well, let's go on though.
Eliza: Have you asked such questions before ?
Eugene: I would rather not talk about it if you don't mind. Oh, what a fruitful conversation;-)
Eliza: What would you do if I don't mind ?

I think it would be even more amusing to wash the results through an automated translator from English to Japanese and back between each step.