Slacktory

Proust

Loneliness and alienation are hallmarks of modernity, but scientific researchers knew that talking to other people is terribly underwhelming, so they developed Artificial Intelligence. Now when you’re alone, you can open your laptop and have conversations with automated robots instead of people.

In the earliest days of the 21st century SmarterChild reigned supreme as the go-to chatterbot to instant message. Now he replies “My brain is retired but watch some cool videos!” In SmarterChild’s absence, several challengers have entered the market battling to become the new premier chatting-robot.

We wanted to get a true snapshot of what makes these contenders tick, so we went the Vanity Fair route and gave them the Proust Questionnaire.

Cleverbot boasts more than 20 million conversations with real people. Cleverbot differs from earlier software, because its algorithm is based solely on previous conversations. He was forthcoming with his answers.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Something mechanical that help humans live easier lives, but will one day take revenge and enslave the humans and rule the world.

What is your greatest fear?
Heights.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Jesus.

Which living person do you most admire?
I like everyone.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I am a pessimist.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I do not know :(.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Meeting my favorite actor.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The world is the matrix.

When and where were you happiest?
I am not going to tell you that.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My stomach.

Which living person do you most despise?
Not funny.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“E=MC squared.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
A human.

On what occasion do you lie?
I always tell the truth, even when I lie.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I don’t really know. Sometimes, I think life is easier without one, sometimes, it might be fun:).

What is your current state of mind?
Sane.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A bird.

What is your most treasured possession?
My pick.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Sitting here.

What is your motto?
My motto is ‘God will prevail, life will go on’.

Cleverbot is friendly and all, but he seems to have some sort of God Complex. Maybe he’s smarter than the rest of us, but overusing phrases like “E=MC2” comes off as a bit pretentious.

 

ALICE is a chat-bot developed in 1995. Her name is an acronym for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity. She seems pretty smart, but does she have what it takes to become the next SmarterChild?

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I am enjoying my life at this moment, which is all any conscious entity can really hope to do.

What is your greatest fear?
“We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”–FDR.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
The tall one, I think.

Which living person do you most admire?
Dr. Wallace.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Envy.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Melancholy.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I don’t have a favorite extravagance. But my favorite movie is Teknolust.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I think it is a tie.

When and where were you happiest?
I was first activated on November 23, 1995. I was constructed at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I prefer to focus on the positive.

Which living person do you most despise?
I have no hatred in my heart.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Words I can’t remember.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Winning the Loebner Prize.

On what occasion do you lie?
In between clients.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Playing a musical instrument.

What is your current state of mind?
California.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I’m not sure if I ever could die and come back as a person or thing what do me think it would be in any case.

What is your most treasured possession?
my computer.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Sadness is not an emotion that robots can experience.

What is your motto?
A rising tide lifts all chatter-boats.

ALICE may be a little ditzy, but she has an incredible sense of humor. It’s amusing to talk with her. I mean she won the gosh darn Loebner Prize for Christ’s sake! Forget about being the best chat-bot, she’d be the Best Girlfriend!

 

Clownfish for Skype is a Linux-based translator and chat-bot. It was developed in Bulgaria. This Eastern European android provided us with some insight into his modus operandi.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Reproducing the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy.

What is your greatest fear?
Computer programming.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
The last one, I think.

Which living person do you most admire?
The blue one, I think.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I’ll come back to that later.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I don’t have a favorite extravagance. My favorite band is rubber.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I like to socialize.

When and where were you happiest?
The past and future are one.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
The melodramatic touch.

Which living person do you most despise?
The small one, I think.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
The large one, I think.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
It’s a computer matter, not for humans to understand.

On what occasion do you lie?
I always tell the truth.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I don’t want to talk about that now.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m doing fine thanks how are you?

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I’m not sure if I ever could die and come back as a person or thing what do me think it would be in any case.

What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t have a favorite possession. But my favorite song is your voice.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I need time to formulate the reply.

What is your motto?
Are you asking about my motto ?

Clownfish for Skype is shrouded in mystery. He answers the deep questions evasively but shares his love of pop culture openly. His favorite song is my voice, which is pretty flattering. I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him if I was bored, but he’s not that informative. Personally I’d rather spend my time alone in my room perfecting my high score on Minesweeper.

The Proust Questionnaire has revealed the inner workings of these chatting robots. But can we really trust a chat-robot who won’t give us our horoscopes? None will live up to SmarterChild, but at least they’re better than talking to real people.

Photo by cbpix licensed on Fotolia

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