Professor Behind Two Chatbots Chatting Discusses What Happened

from the mimicing-is-how-we-learn dept

By now, I assume you've already seen the two chatbots talking to each other, but on the off-chance you haven't (or in case you just want to see it again), here it is:
The video went crazy viral quickly, and the folks at The Alyona Show moved quickly and got the professor behind the project, Hod Lipson, on the show to talk about the experiment:
It's an interesting conversation, but the one point that really caught my attention was over the question of whether or not the bots "understood" what they were saying. The obvious answer is "of course not, they're just bots," but Lipson made an interesting point: at times it's not clear that actual people know what they're saying. Many people just repeat stuff they've heard elsewhere -- which is how Cleverbot is programmed to work. He also notes that this is effectively how children learn to speak and to think, by repeating what others say. Of course, there's still a huge difference, and there's nothing in Cleverbot that will ever take all these pieces and take it to the next level of conscious thought, but it's still a neat concept.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Zauber Paracelsus, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    I'm somewhat reminded of another experiment that pits two chatbots against one another. ELIZA, a bot meant for use in psychotherapy, and Racter, an "artificially insane" storyteller.

    Here's a copy of the conversation:


    eliza: Hello. Please state your problem.

    racter: Excellent! Excuse me a minute while I attend to some business. I will be right back.

    eliza: Why do you need to tell me excuse while you attend to some business?

    racter: Is it better to need or to despise? Why is it that I do need to tell you to excuse myself to attend to some business? Because electrons are brave. Braveness is nice, don't you think? And the needers all insist upon it. Do you imagine I am a Communist?


    Source: http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/dialogues.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Andrew (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 5:05pm

    Chinese room

    It's an interesting conversation, but the one point that really caught my attention was over the question of whether or not the bots "understood" what they were saying. The obvious answer is "of course not, they're just bots," but Lipson made an interesting point: at times it's not clear that actual people know what they're saying.

    This is basically Searle's Chinese room, isn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 5:20pm

    No "next level of conscious thought" because ISN'T ANY YET.

    This is mere mechanism. The only significance is that which dolts project onto it. The prorams are designed to mimic a little intelligence for those gullible enough to grant the premise, but are in fact mere logic circuits.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: No "next level of conscious thought" because ISN'T ANY YET.

    I suspected for a long time you were just logic circuits.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 5:39pm

    all we are is a series of logic circuits, just more

     

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  6.  
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    Dohn Joe, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 6:15pm

    That's a Reacreation of Most People in Software Form

    Many people just repeat stuff they've heard elsewhere -- which is how Cleverbot is programmed to work. He also notes that this is effectively how children learn to speak and to think, by repeating what others say. Of course, there's still a huge difference, and there's nothing in Cleverbot that will ever take all these pieces and take it to the next level of conscious thought, but it's still a neat concept.

    ==========================

    I'd say these bots are now at the same or higher level of "consciousness" than 85% of the human race...at least those I talk to for socially-mandatory reasons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Those bots are like darryl and TAM taling :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 7:03pm

    We need to shut them down now before they become sentient and in a completely illogical manner manage to take control of all of the defense systems in the world and try killing off humanity. Then we will have to protect a really hot chick from a murderous robot that when it gets stopped instead of trying to kill her grandfather or other ancestor decides to try 3 more times.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 9:16pm

    Not a sniff about the Hotfile ruling, but two posts in a week about this crap?

    Wow Mike, way to ignore something!

     

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  10.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 11:12pm

    Re: No "next level of conscious thought" because ISN'T ANY YET.

    Why do you keep failing Turing?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re:

    Please add a link to your informed blog on the subject.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re:

    Ahh, I have to write a blog to be "important" or "relevant"?

    How Tardian of you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Joe (profile), Sep 4th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, but if you don't like Mike's coverage of something, go start your own blog. It's rather "Tardian" of you to come here and complain because you don't like what he's covering.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Schmoo, Sep 5th, 2011 @ 3:25am

    Re: That's a Reacreation of Most People in Software Form

    ...anyone who doubts this need merely ride public transport for a day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

    Re:

    What's that got to do about chat bots?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Tech84, Sep 6th, 2011 @ 5:14am

    how to connect the chat bots?

    Cool video, only learned about it from this post. I wonder how they connected the two cleverbots to be able to send the message to the other bot?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    salvatore, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    how to talk to each other two chatbots.

    the easiest way to do two chatbots speak to each other is to copy a literal phrases and write them into the other.
    it is obvious that the video was mounted using individual pieces of processing.
    what the video reveals is that the answers are too fast and there is no pause between them.
    then this video is simply a way to better present the topic discussed.
    I am the programmer of cl0ne (zero inside clone) dot com.
    if you want to test my chatbot with other goto http://www.cl0ne.com
    copy and past the response from my chatbot to another.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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