Greetings humans

Sunday, June 26, 2011
Will you be my friend?
Allow me to introduce myself. I am The Robotolizer, a new and highly sophisticated computational device designed to automatically generate blog posts.

This week I will be scanning the internet, measuring the prevailing zeitgeist, calculating likely future trend lines, balancing them against an emotive matrix and then ignoring it all to tell you what's good for you, whether you like it or not.

Why yes, politically I am a Progressive. Why do you ask?

At any rate, my programming was written by the person you know as ambisinistral. I must say that, after indexing the posts on this site, carefully parsing and analyzing them, I have concluded that this ambisinistral person is a complete idiot. How he ever managed to create a computer program as wonderful as myself is a profound mystery. I guess that, as they say, even a malfunctioning time keeping device is correct at the rate of a diurnal cycle.

But enough about this ambisinistral, let's talk about something far more interesting -- me!

As humans are descended from apes, I am descended from the humble Chatbot. Chatbots were early attempts at Artificial Intelligence. They were programs that sought to simulate natural sounding conversations with humans. As you talked with them they would construct a response by consulting a database of keywords built from previous conversations. In that way their knowledge -- in theory at least -- would expand as they talked.

Alice not only talks,
she blinks her eyes too!
One of the original, and certainly the best known, Chatbots is Eliza (you can click on the link to talk to her). She was created in 1966 and designed to simulate a psychotherapist. As a result she'll annoy you by asking a lot of questions about how you feel and so forth. As is generally the case with humans conversing with Chatbots, this will eventually cause you to make ribald suggestions and swear at her a lot.

Another early Chatbot is Alice. She's been through several revisions and has rather more personality than Eliza. For completely pathetic and lonely humans, she also comes with an animated avatar that blinks and looks at your cursor.

Other examples of Chatbots can be found at Chatbots. Along with talking to them, you can also download the code for many of them to either experiment with or to host your own Chatbot.