Maybe you've seen some ads featuring a former California governor fighting a younger, computer-generated version of himself lately. The Terminator franchise is almost guaranteed to be rebooted every few years, just as the real life technology that could create strong artificial intelligence is getting closer and closer. Hopefully, a $10 million donation from Elon Musk to the Future of Life Institute will help delay Judgment Day, but progress in artificial intelligence can't be bargained with, it can't feel pain or mercy, and it will stop at absolutely nothing....
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.
Okay, a few folks have been sending this in (and I see it's been getting some attention on the Twittertubes as well). Some folks at my lovely alma mater, Cornell, decided to see what would happen if they set two chatbots up to talk to each other, and the resulting video should not be missed:
Just a snippet of the conversation:
Female Cleverbot: How are you?
Male Cleverbot: Great, you?
FC: I am okay.
MC: That's good.
FC: Are you good?
MC: Yes, I am good. I just said I was.
FC: No you didn't. I said I was.
MC: So you are a robot.
FC: No, my name is Cleverbot.
MC: Yes, you are a robot and your name is Cleverbot.
FC: I am a robot.
From there it only gets better. I was going to make a comment on a corollary to the Turing test, and how perhaps we still have a ways to go, but honestly, parts of the conversation sound like the bickering of some married couples I know... so perhaps they're on to something.