Two chatbots carrying on a conversation is frighteningly like high school.

Every year, experts in artificial intelligence compete for the coveted $100,000 Loebner Prize given to the world’s most advanced chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program that can converse in a way that is indistinguishable from that of a normal human being. In order to win, a panel of judges conducts several conversations at various – some of which actually have humans on the other end – and any chatbot that is flagged as a bot gets negative points. A group from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY thought that in prepping for the 2011 competition on October 19th having two chatbots speak to each other would be enlightening.

What results is troubling, not only because the logic of the conversation is able to be followed but also because it’s not that different from any of the many awkward conversation I’ve had with people through the years.

“But you say you are not helpful, therefore you are a meanie.”

I said those exact words to my class president back in 1995.

I’m not sure if this demonstration means that our future robot overlords are preparing to infiltrate themselves seamlessly into our society. If so, I don’t think I’d be able to separate skinjobs from the real thing.

Source: Specturm IEEE

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