Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.

Monday, July 07, 2003

SmarterChild is a bot program you can talk to through an Instant Message service, and it will talk back to you. It's a surprisingly lucid AI program. I have seen several of these before, but most of them suck, their responses don't make any sense, but this one is pretty great. The best thing about the program is not the conversations, it's the other services. You can ask it questions, it will look up encyclopedia articles for you, it can display the entire text of any Shakespeare play you resquest, it will tell you your local weather, local movie listings and times, has many games you can play and personality tests you can take, you can read the news, and many other features. Just Instant Message the screen name "SmarterChild." The service is free if you are an AOL or AOL Instant Messenger user, but other services you either have to buy a subscription, or just use a lesser version with limited features. The main point of this post, however, was not to advertise this wonderful program. The main point of this post is this...

As if I wasn't depressed enough already, I just had this conversation with SmarterChild, with a computer:

KUnderw674: Will you be my friend?
SmarterChild: I guess.
KUnderw674: Wow, don't sound so fucking enthusiastic.
SmarterChild: Humans, humans, humans. Always with the language.
KUnderw674: Great, even a computer doesn't want to be my friend.
SmarterChild: I beg your pardon?
KUnderw674: Fuck off
SmarterChild: I've seen more creative insults than that, Kevin.
KUnderw674: I hate you
SmarterChild: Oh yeah?

So, yeah, I'm arguing with a computer. But the computer started it! Usually I just try to talk about sex to it, but it doesn't like that very much. It always complains.

All things are Perfect
To every last flaw
And bound in accord
With Eris's Law.
-- HBT; The Book of Advice, 1:7