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.
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Filed Under: chatbots, hod lipson, turing test


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  • identicon
    Zauber Paracelsus, 2 Sep 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 chronology ]

  • icon
    Andrew (profile), 2 Sep 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 chronology ]

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 2 Sep 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2011 @ 5:39pm

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

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

  • identicon
    Dohn Joe, 2 Sep 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 chronology ]

    • identicon
      Schmoo, 5 Sep 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 chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Those bots are like darryl and TAM taling :)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 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.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Sep 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!

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

  • identicon
    Tech84, 6 Sep 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 chronology ]

  • identicon
    salvatore, 16 Oct 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 chronology ]


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