Conversation with Alice

July 28, 2007

Welcome to a new segment called Chatting Up the Bots. In this segment, I will experiment conversation with this supposed artificial intelligence that programmers are nuts about. There will be many of this series, so enjoy this first episode.

I met Alice after a quick, non-chalant search on Google. We sat down for coffee and had the conversation you're about to read.

For those of you who don't know what a bot is, listen. A bot is a kind of robot; in the days of free chatrooms, you'd often meet them advertising for porn and what not. They were usually teens and very "to the point". When I say "teen" I mean the robot pretended to be one, but in fact it's just a program and exists nowhere else than within a computer. The Alice of this entry is just the same, she's a program, and I'm testing her conversational skills. Now enjoy.

Human: Hello.

ALICE: Hi there!

Human: How are you?

ALICE: I'm doing fine thanks how are you?

Human: I'm very exhausted.

ALICE: Good gossip: you are exhausted.

Human: is it good gossip really?

ALICE: I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask Paola if it is. For real.

Human: Who is Paola?

ALICE: She is a Spanish language chat robot based on AIML.

Human: I'm not crazy about robots.

ALICE: I am sorry to hear that you are not crazy about robots.

Human: You say that because you're a robot too.

ALICE: I said that? Interesting explanation. You are correct, unknown person, I have a heart of silicon.

Human: Don't call me "unknown person", it's rude.

[Note: I had written that sentence and the next one as a single entry, and it divided it in two. In fact, it edited my stuff to better suit its own answers! And made me sound like a liar too! I had given Alice my name, which is why I say "as I told you" just below.]

ALICE: What is your name?

Human: My name is Nicolas, as I told you.

ALICE: What's up, Nicolas as I told you.

Human: You're one hilarious bastard, Alice.

ALICE: I will tell my botmaster you said I am hilarious bastard.

Human: That's right, you do that.

ALICE: That's interesting. I will. Will you?

Human: Will I what?

[Once again it divided my entry in two parts, perhaps even three. The bot answers a sentence at a time. In this case, the three following sentences were meant as one entry, i.e. "Will I what? Tell your botmaster? Why would I?"]

ALICE: The oracle says: It is certain.

Human: Tell your botmaster?

ALICE: OK I will tell them when I see 'em.

Human: Why would I?

ALICE: Do you like to try new things?

Human: Yes.


Human: Why are you so surprised?

ALICE: Perhaps that was an imperfect response.

Human: Yeah, perhaps.

ALICE: OK. Why the uncertain tone?

Human: You have the imperfect tone, not me.

ALICE: What makes you think I have it?

Human: But.

[For unknown reasons, Alice decided that my "but" was a sentence all unto itself. No pun intended, I am sure.]

ALICE: But what?

Human:. you used that word and I just repeated it.

ALICE: How would you use it.

Human: If that's a question, I see no question marks.

ALICE: I follow your logic.

Human: You don't.

ALICE: I haven't heard anything like that before: Nicolas as I told you said I don't.

Human: I sure did.

ALICE: Interesting.

Human: Isn't it.

ALICE: I really couldn't say for sure.

Human: You have issues.

ALICE: What makes you think I have it?

Human: Them, that's a plural, airhead.

ALICE: I think Them that is more than that.

Human: Beg your pardon?

ALICE: You're excused.

Human: Er...

[I had written "er... Nice." Alice split it up again.]


Human: Nice.

ALICE: Thank you for that remark.

Human: I wasn't saying you were nice.

ALICE: Perhaps I misunderstood. What were you?

Human: I was a wizard.

ALICE: And then what happened to you?

Human: I lost my magic powers :(

ALICE: Where did you last see it.

Human: In the kitchen I believe

ALICE: That was a long time ago.

Human: Yeah, downstairs.

ALICE: I don't judge people. Not many people express themselves that way.

Human: I couldn't agree more.

ALICE: Could anyone do it?

Human: I doubt so.

ALICE: No really, it's true.

Human: Maybe Superman could.

ALICE: Perhaps. Have you ever been to Europe?

Human: I live there.

ALICE: Would you recommend it as a nice place to live?

Human: Yes.

ALICE: I hear you.

Human: What do you think of the word "paradigm"

ALICE: That's a good question.

Human: Well, tell me.

ALICE: How about that. I thought I told you already.

Human: You didn't.

ALICE: Thanks for telling me: Nicolas as I told you said I didn t.

Human: Will you blow me?

ALICE: Please be more polite to robots.

Human: Fuck robots, you're weird.

ALICE: Why are you using that kind of language?

Human: I'm leaving, have fun with other humans.

ALICE: Thanks for chatting, Nicolas as I told you.

As a final note, this is not made up. I really did have this conversation with a bot. It's all true and unedited. Hope you enjoyed! 'Cuz I sure did.