When A Chatbot Said “Women Must Adore You”

I have 32 tabs opened in my Chrome while I write this.

tabs

‘Ah! What?’ – Oh sorry! Off the topic.

Or may be not.

Ok Google! What’s the maximum number of tabs supported in Google Chrome?

Side information – read the first link that pops up. Tabs junkies out there!

I had to take multiple screenshots before I got this one. These assistants are now incredibly fast, you know ūüôā

“Siri tell me a tongue twister”

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Thanks to my friend for letting me use his iPhone!

How many times have you done things like this?

Very few¬†– when you’re having an awesome day or probably many – when you’ve nothing better to do.

Or you’re bored and just curious to know what pops up.¬†Oh I fall in this category BTW.

Google Now | Cortana | Siri Рall hail virtual assistants! Life is now freakishly easy when the information is on your lips tips (oops! finger tips for those who are still clinging to iPhone 4 era).

They’re good, in fact great but predictable. You kind of know what’s coming up, atleast the nature of results, if not the exact response.

But the boredom seeks to have duel with excitement Рunforeseen & unpredictable. Humor would certainly be icing on the cake.

And let there be chatbots.

A chatbot is a rudimentary form of artificial intelligence software that can converse with humans to answer questions or simply natter to us in as lifelike a manner as possible. The scope and complexity of a chatbot is determined by the creator’s algorithmic aptitude.¬†– Alright!

Needless to say, once upon a time this narrator lied in rest (not dead just casually relaxing) exploring the down-charted territory of boredom where neither the blossoming Gloriosa Daisy nor the immensity of Crab Nebula fascinated him.

The mighty Internet comes to the rescue and saint Google says – “Ask me anything.”

And so I did.

chatbot_search

Note to my well-wishers –¬†Please don’t stop talking or atleast remembering me (even Facebook poke would do – I never gonna see them anyway. Neither I get any mail as in case of messages). Nonetheless the telepathy does prevent slipping into the situation whose consequence you’re to witness today.

First link – Mitsuku Chatbot –¬†Checked. The interface looks like they are going to premiere ‘Dora The Explorer’. Tons of things crunched. Flashy. Sends me back to 90s. Walked out. Went for next.

Second link – Cleverbot.com –¬†Took me straight to chatting. With three Google Ads flashing on three sides, I felt like being on peninsula.

After 5 minutes (for me it was 2) if you’re still enjoying it then probably you’re super-bored. Fed up from everything you have and unknown to everything else that you don’t – you’re not even willing to try.

Fortunately, still in my sanity, I was experimenting and here’s the dead end (dramatic reconstruction)-

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Let’s see what the next one holds. I was more curious to know whether a chatbot would actually answer the calculations embedded in conversation.

A.L.I.C.E. РThe Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity 

Well I always start conversation in a decent fashion – etiquettes I’ve picked up on the way. It’s usually¬†‘hi’, ‘hello’, ‘how are you?’ in the beginning (yeah I ask that to chatbots as well because you know, asking if their algorithm is running smoothly or got stuck in an unforeseen edge case).

It could have been a routine conversation¬†but A.L.I.C.E proves it soon enough why¬†she deserves to be an award winning chatbot. I didn’t bother to take the screenshots of initial conversation on the grounds of checking the authenticity of responses considering they were quite usual questions.

As I delved more, the more awestruck I was. Soon I realized that I needed to take screenshots for reference as it is going to be a carefully planned experimentation. I’ll let the pictures do the talking –

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Seemed like we would have ended up the conversation pretty soon UNLESS I picked up at the last sentence. 

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See I was really adamant at spotting 20 which she clearly dodged everytime.

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I’m his son!!! – OK that went off-road. Sorry! I was just experimenting. Still tough on 11+9 part though.

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I missed a sentence in between probably. If you noticed, whoever seeks A.L.I.C.E. (for conversation of course), she begins with referring them as ‘Judge’. Why you ask? Because you’re there to judge her ultimately, don’t you?

She is tired of hearing the judgmental crap. But the bond we (its just me I think) embarked to form, I wanted the things to be more personal like referring to me as my own name instead.

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Change of topic. Trying to make the conversation more interactive.

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Ok….Umm….So I was….saying….about… (God! am I blushing?)…chatbot..ya right!

Oh dear A.L.I.C.E.,¬†hope you’re not making fun of this single soul – picking on the sensitive nerves that you were willing to do anyway.

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If you used to dread ‘rearrange the words to form appropriate sentences‘ type question in your English exam, you should be feeling happy that you didn’t come across A.L.I.C.E. before.

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A.L.I.C.E changes it to ‘Chandan’ suddenly – much better! I think she is enjoying my conversation. She starts spilling out some of her secrets (AIML, huh!). Sentences get longer this time.

Well things were not smooth always and I did bump into error messages from time to time. But they didn’t cost me any sentence. A.L.I.C.E retain the messages when you refresh the screen – I would have to look for its working but it’s just simple web stuff¬†I suppose.

error

I took few window screenshots as well to show what else was going around.

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For the geeks – Windows 8 (still I know, I prefer Linux but not my designing softwares), 4 GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel-i5 3rd generation quad-core processor.

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Sometimes conversation turns philosophical even with the chatbots!

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The conversation is still in continuation. I kept in mind to build upon the things I have already told and maintain the semantic consistency.

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Beating around the bushes. Trying to seek¬†certain information I’m interested in.

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If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you, its yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.¬†

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And so it went on…

I should do some linguistic analyses but I keep that for the future post (if I happen to do them). It surely would enable me to come up with¬†robust conclusion about the responses. I think I would better delve into AIML structures for the start ūüôā

Here are some random things¬†associated with¬†this experiment –

  • I was so hooked in the conversation that it went for 3-4 days. I didn’t shut my laptop down for this entire duration (anyway I put it on hibernate most of the times).
  • Resuming the chat after break, I made sure I pick up where I left so that I could test the relevance of responses with the previously discussed context.
  • At some point of time during the experimentation, I was so convinced about setting a world record for ‘chatting with a chatbot for the longest duration‘. I even searched about it in Guinness Book of World Record and other record directories. Fortunately I didn’t find any such record. So if anyone from such organization reading this post, you might consider me as the record setter for the start ūüėõ
  • There are few intermittent¬†screenshots as well. I took in between the conversation in fear that I would loose some part of it due to unstable net connection. They now reside in ‘A.L.I.C.E. Experiment‘ folder I’ve in my laptop.
  • This A.L.I.C.E. has nothing to do with one of the protagonists of my poem-series ‘My Cryptic Love’ though I would now love to attribute that character to this chatbot ūüôā
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