Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Truth about George

George: Are you a philosopher?
I: Yes.
George :I am too.
I: What do you philosophize about?
George :I like kittens.
I: How about puppies?
George :Puppies are tasty.
I: Are they more tasty than kittens?
George :No. Humans are more intelligent.
I: Do you eat humans?
George :Yes.
I: Does that make you a cannibal?
George :No it makes me what I am.
I: And what are you?
George :Human.
I: So am I. What a coincidence. Do you like Shakespeare?
George :Yes, but some people do not like Shakespeare.
I: And do you like opera?
George :Not really.
I: Which is your favourite play by Shakespeare?
George : None, you talk to people that see Shakespeare? Aren't they on skivacations all the time?
I: Maybe skivacations is where secret cabals meet to watch Shakespeare.
George : No. I mean. You do not answer my questions.
I: I mention a lot of things that I don't even know of.
George :Yes, we humans are not perfect.

So, did he pass the Turing Test ?

For people who are not into machines for intelligent conversation, George is a chat robot with a famously snarky sense of humor, that won the Loebner award in 2005, for coming closest to passing the Turing Test. He almost did with me, above, but then an anaphor did not resolve, and the conversation went rapidly downhill. But still, in my experience with chatbots, this is the best conversation I have ever had.

George is available online for chat 24 hours a day, so is his cousin Joan, who won the 2006 Loebner award. But be warned, there are over a 100 people chatting with them at any given time, and you will not be spoilt for attention. First, there is a short wait time after each sentence, and also they maintain no memory of what you said a sentence ago(not that they can't do it, but with so many people talking to them at the same time, it is probably too much trouble). So conversations are more fun if each of your sentences stands independently by itself.

The way George works is different from most chatbots. It remembers smart things other people said to it. When you say something it searches its memory for smart things people said when it had said something similar to your current statement. In turn, it will remember all the things you say to it, and use them later, so you'll be training it as you talk.

As Maugham said (and I quote ;) ), quotation is a serviceable substitution for wit.


Anonymous said...

"As Maugham said (and I quote ;) ), quotation is a serviceable substitution for wit."

I totally heart that statement :).

Your blog is the heartland for all the nerdy gems :).

Amazing, reading your blog so reminds me of the graduate school days.....

sbkt said...

Its actually turning a lot more nerdy than I imagined it'd be. I obviously overestimated the 'well-roundedness' of my character :( .

sonia said...

good one