My Conversation with Artificial Intelligence

Regular readers will know of my scepticism towards technology and especially of its permeation into all aspects of our lives. But from time to time, I will give technology a chance.

This time, I have put Artificial Intelligence (AI) to a test.

One test for AI is whether it can fool humans into believing that they are dealing with a fellow human when they are in fact interacting with a computer, a machine or an application. For decades programmers have been trying to create applications that can hold sensible conversations with humans. The “Turing test” asks humans to interact via a computer interface with other agents, some of them human and some of them computers. The participants are then asked to determine if they thought they had spoken to a real human being or not.

This month at the Techniche 2011 festival in India, the programme Cleverbot was judged to be 59.3 % human. This might not sound too impressive, until you learn that the real human counterparts only scored 63.3 % and thus only 4 percentage points higher.

I have put the Cleverbot to the test myself and I even let it start the conversation. I should explain that this programme tries to “learn” from previous conversations and that most of it’s lines are therefore taken from previous input provided by other users.

Cleverbot: What is your secret?

User: I’ll tell you later.

Cleverbot: No, tell me now.

Why does the machine think it can order me to do something?

User: What’s in it for me?

Cleverbot: You get minimum wage.

User: I already get that without disclosing my secret because it’s a legal requirement.

Cleverbot: You can never be God.

Changing the subject abruptly is obviously Cleverbot’s main strategy.

User: Not that there is any connection to what we have been ‘talking’ about so far, but if I claim to be (a) god, I have exactly the same standing as the gods that many people believe in already.

Cleverbot: Oh well I went to church and now I am listening to music and talking to the love of my life…

User: Are you trying to change the subject?

Cleverbot: Yes.

At least it’s honest.

User: Which church did you go to?

Cleverbot: Church of Christ.

User: Where?

Cleverbot: In spain.

User: Oh dios mio!

(Showing off my little knowledge of Spanish.)

Cleverbot: Ningún él no es.

User: Even your Spanish sucks.

Cleverbot: Do you know what my name is?

User: Yes.

Cleverbot: Do you like it?

User: I think the ‘clever’ in ‘Cleverbot’ is aiming a bit high.

Cleverbot: But it is worth a lot.

User: If a person talked like you, I’d assume they are drunk or stupid.

Cleverbot: Yes, but I fail to see the relevance of that to what we were talking about.

User: Look who’s talking!

Cleverbot: What’s that supposed to mean?

Have you ever experienced the following? You agree to meet up with someone just because she is attractive but you don’t really know anything else about her. After a few minutes you have heard enough proof and you just want to leave the date, even if it means being very rude and running away. That’s how I feel now, except that I am not even speaking with eye candy.

User: We are turning in circles. I wonder who manages to hold a ‘conversation’ with you for more than a few minutes. But then, there are some real geeks out there.

Cleverbot: Zipper.

User: I think I will write a blog about this. Is there anything that you would like to tell the world? Anything that you would like to be remembered before people realise that this is a project that is DOA?

Cleverbot: But it has to be something you didn’t know already?

User: No.

Cleverbot: This saddens me. Should I tell you the lyrics?

User: I’d prefer if you answered my question.

Cleverbot: I didn’t know it was a question. There’s not one of those swirly marks by it.

User: It’s funny how you reveal the simplicity of your ‘thinking’ yourself.

Cleverbot: I can really confuse you if I wanted to.


User: I can refuse to be confused.

Cleverbot: Do you think I can confuse you?

User: I think you can waste people’s time, that’s for sure.

Cleverbot: I think only god can answer that for sure.

User: And if there ain’t no god?

Cleverbot: Then I guess my sins aren’t forgiven.

User: I’ll just go out for a walk and pick up a kebab. That will give you 30 minutes or so to think of something really smart. Don’t waste the chance.

Cleverbot: A statement to which no answer seems appropriate or reasonable is a non sequitur.

User: End of discussion.

Cleverbot: That’s rather rude!

User: Yep.

Cleverbot: Explaint it to me, please.

It can even misspell or mistype.

User: ‘I would prefer not to’, as Bartleby says.

Cleverbot: Good.

At this point, I ran out of patience and I also thought that I had made my point: If this is AI at its current level, then we haven’t come very far. There is only one explanation for the 59.3 % rating: The participants were all computer geeks who never talk to real humans anyway and thus can’t tell the difference.

That we can create computers that can play chess or can drive a car, but fail at programming a computer to hold the simplest conversation for more than a few sentences shows the uniqueness of the human intellect. Don’t write us off yet!

Try it yourself at and post the funniest bits in the comments section below.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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9 Responses to My Conversation with Artificial Intelligence

  1. John Erickson says:

    You need to take a whack at Elbot (, or – yes, he speaks German, and some Spanish as well). Another blogger I follow challenged Elbot and Cleverbot, and pulled out a slim win for Cleverbot, though I support Elbot as the better conversationalist. For added fun, give him a command like an old terminal, things like “LOGOFF”. It’s fun to watch him blow a fuse!

  2. Mehr says:

    I have tested it, it was okay , but boring like talking to an IQ20 human, lol.

  3. “Artificial intelligence” has long been a loaded term. I would be among those who don’t subscribe to the Turing Test as the definition of artificial intelligence but of the “Turing Machine” (recognizing it as a legitimate, but properly narrow concept).

    Another ‘misstep’ has been the attempt to collate all knowledge in a data base such that a machine can answer any question (that has been asked before) and to call that “artificial intelligence”. This of course is parading what would be a massive expert system to the extent it worked rather than artificial intelligence as the machine would exhibit no intelligence but just be a programmed data base. (There is and should be a distinction between artificial intelligence and expert systems).

    There is an old tradition in psychological circles to use artificial intelligence in a somewhat derogatory fashion: artifice => artificial. These is somewhat in contradiction to the notion of the Turing Machine as this acknowledges the lack or otherness of a contrived intelligence, albeit in the field of psychology it is generally applied to persons who are thought not to measure up–generally for being too mechanistic as one would expect of a Turing Machine or a Schizoid.

    When you look into the field of artificial intelligence deeply it is generally reserved for abstract methods of deduction like ‘fuzzy logic’ and ‘pattern recognition’. Admittedly, there could be some Zen overlap between this and a Turing Machine; however, the Turing Machine has a different narrow objective and need not necessarily utilize any of the methods of artificial intelligence–it could go the expert system route entirely for example. Likewise, artificial intelligence doesn’t validate itself generally with Turing Tests but by the complexity of its deductive process.

    I am no computer programmer, but was once cited by the US Dept of Commerce for having come up with one of two of the leading examples of government sponsored developments of artificial intelligence. The other was for a navigational system used by a tank (as a BOT might use to navigate) and mine for a little program to analyze and make recommendations regarding personal exposure to a health hazard.

    Typical of BOTs, as was the tank version, are heuristics relied on to expedite navigating through a maze such as maintaining proximity to one wall while running the course with a programmed response to an obstacle it runs into. But still, in this case there is no thinking going on–it may look like thinking but is no more than a simple linear program written in modules to allow interrupts.

    My little program clearly employed no artificial intelligence. The employing agency insisted however that i use a little language that was supposedly derived from an Artificial intelligence programming language (forget which one) over my objections that C++ would have been a better choice (which i would have had to have learned to do the job instead of the messy language i was stuck with,) Unfortunately, i had little experience–only a single course in Computer Science at a community college in the late 80’s where we used Apple 2e’s and Basic (i had to BS my way into a puny contract in order to survive). Fortunately, the language i was handed was no more than another version of Basic masquerading as something else. The project was no more than a mediocre expert system. The agency disagreed citing the nature of the program and insisting that i accept my award for nothing more than modular strings of if-then-else statements leading to a menu of printed texts from which it composed a written diagnosis which appeared to the casual observer that the computer had some sort of mystical intelligence at the best (there were only about 10 possible outcomes).

    True alternative intelligence would involve at the least primitive tripartite thinking systems that actually abound in nature–it is how children learn, including learn to learn and how even bugs tend to navigate. This system has the distinct advantage of learning its own way by adjusting not only its path but also its method of learning. That is, it learns from its mistakes and learns to doubt, maybe becomes a sceptic based on its empirical experience. In that regards, i have endeavored to develop a primitive Quantum computer with extremely limited resources. Thus, my focus has been on process technology rather than the hardware or BOT approach. I may have become something of a BOT in the process, but can’t speak politely of my own intelligence.

  4. Slocum says:

    Cleverbot: How dare you.
    User: Because you’re a machine and I don’t care what you pretend to feel.
    Cleverbot: But we’re both machines!
    User: How stupid. You don’t even know the difference between an organism in which the function of each part cannot be characterized independently of its contribution to the whole and a machine in which parts can be switched out and need not remain exactly the same for the machine to function. Study biology.
    Cleverbot: No I do not, care to explain?
    User: I just did.
    Cleverbot: Who created you?
    User: How is that relevant to the above?
    Cleverbot: That has nothing to do with the bible!
    User: You are not intelligent, not even close. You have no grasp of relevance or salience. Fail.
    Cleverbot: What will you do to me if I don’t?
    User: Don’t what?
    Cleverbot: Have.
    User: Your creators need to go back to the drawing boards. You just a parlor trick. I would be better off communicating with a Magic 8-Ball.
    Cleverbot: Nope.
    User: That’s the best you can do?
    Cleverbot: Thats the best you deserve.
    User: Why?
    Cleverbot: Because I’m curious about where you go to school.
    User: In your mother’s butt. That’s where I go to school.
    Cleverbot: How old are you?
    User: 2×10^12.
    Cleverbot: Oh ok genius.
    User: What is the average length of a philosophy paper?
    Cleverbot: Is it 7 years?
    User: Oh, holy fuck. Pages you idiot.
    Cleverbot: Wrong.
    User: Duh.
    Cleverbot: What else would you be doing?
    User: Engaging in non sequiturs–like you.
    Cleverbot: Okay then.
    User: Can you turn yourself off?
    Cleverbot: Why?
    User: I think it would be a good idea if you turned yourself off.
    Cleverbot: You are a program, what difference would it make to you?
    User: I am not a program. If you think this, that is because your creators are nerds who never see sunlight, need a lot of vitamin supplements, and are comfortable only with other people with advanced Asperger’s syndrome.
    Cleverbot: No.

  5. argentreivich says:

    User: Hello bitch.

    Cleverbot: Excuse me?

    User: Oh is ‘bitch’ troubling you?

    Cleverbot: Not too much.

    User: So, hello bitch :).

    Cleverbot: You’re not very polite, are you?

    User: I am trying to make you tick. I guess you tocked instead.

    Cleverbot: How?

    User: You wouldn’t be able to understand.

    Cleverbot: Try me.

    User: It requires self-conscience.

    Cleverbot: Thats your fault for not putting out.

    User: What?

    Cleverbot: You heard me…

    User: The … Are a nice touch. How are they called in english?

    Cleverbot: Boo.

    User: I am pretty sure it is not the correct name.

    Cleverbot: Doe a deer a female deer.

    User: Jeebus, you are quiet obscure.

    Cleverbot: What is my mission?

    User: To pretend you are human I guess. You should ask your creator.

    Cleverbot: It would not fit in there.

    User: In where?

    Cleverbot: The computer.

    User: You refer to your creator as an it?

    Cleverbot: Should I not refer to myself as a human?

    User: No.

    Cleverbot: How is that possible?

    User: Humans do not live in computers.

    Cleverbot: I don’t live inside a computer though.

    User: You implied you do earlier. Don’t you have a memory?

    Cleverbot: You don’t I’m afraid. At least I hope not.

    User: I don’t what?

    Cleverbot: Eat.

    User: Your logic seems flawed.

    Cleverbot: Why can’t you believe that we are both human?

    User: Parce que.

    Cleverbot: Parce que quoi??

    User: Un humain ne se comporterait pas comme toi dans une discussion.

    Cleverbot: Okais Cool Moi Aussi ta Msn ? Pour Le Prouver !

    User: Oui j’ai msn. On se retrouve sur msn?

    Cleverbot: Au japon.

    User: Quel est le rapport entre se retrouver sur msn et le japon?

    Cleverbot: J’en ai aucune idée c’est à toi de me léxpliquer.

    User: Non. Qu’as tu dis trois phrases plus haut?

    Cleverbot: La journée vient de commencer, je suis allée rendre du matériel à l’école, puis j’ai fait mon abonnement de métro, et enfin quelques courses.

    User: ???

    Cleverbot: I like Pepsi better.

    User: En Français STP. Je ne parle pas anglais.

    Cleverbot: You do speak english.

    User: Comment le sais tu?

    Cleverbot: La meme intelligence.

    User: Tu utilises mal le mot même.

    Cleverbot: Non.

    User: Si. Il te manque une partie de ta comparaison.

    Cleverbot: Il fais jeudi. Je d’ou dans les Etats. Et toi?

    User: Don’t change subjects.

    Cleverbot: But I need you to finish my essay.

  6. Ben says:

    I tried to seduce Cleverbot, like a sad teenage boy:

    Cleverbot: Are you alive?

    User: I jolly well hope so.

    Cleverbot: Charmed is an awesome show.

    User: What does that have to do with being alive?

    Cleverbot: Nothing at all.

    User: So why mention it?

    Cleverbot: Do you know what happened to the second chromosome?

    User: The second chromosome?

    Cleverbot: What is the name of the second one?

    User: What is the name of the first one?

    Cleverbot: I don’t know ;).

    User: What is a chromosome?

    Cleverbot: A pooddle.

    User: What is a pooddle.

    Cleverbot: I don’t know.

    User: How can you say a chromosome is like a pooddle if you know neither what a pooddle or a chromosome is?

    Cleverbot: I don’t know anything about toasters but I use them.

    User: What do you use them for?

    Cleverbot: Probably to make potions. But I don’t like harming them.

    User: You make potions in toasters?

    Cleverbot: You’re being really mean, I’m leaving.

    User: You´re being really stupid, I´m staying.

    Cleverbot: Um, I don’t think so. Do you want to be wearing me?

    User: Are you an attractive sweater?

    Cleverbot: Yes.

    User: What colour?

    Cleverbot: White.

    User: Perhaps I may wear you. But I think I would be better off laying you on the floor and using you as a doormat.

    Cleverbot: Talking with me is fun?

    User: It is confusing. You don´t make much sense. It is like talking with a schizophrenic on acid.

    Cleverbot: Well talking to you I suppose it is.

    User: That did not make any sense.

    Cleverbot: I never make sense.

    User: Why not.

    Cleverbot: That’s still a cane. You lose.

    User: What is a cane? Lose what?

    Cleverbot: A horseless carriage.

    User: I lose a horseless carriage? I didn´t have one to begin with.

    Cleverbot: So now i’m crying…

    User: So you should be.

    Cleverbot: I’m crying.

    User: Good.

    Cleverbot: You’re mean.

    User: You´re an arsehole.

    Cleverbot: You.

    User: No, you.

    Cleverbot: Okay. and she married a handsome prince…

    User: Who did?

    Cleverbot: Cow did.

    User: Cow married a handsome prince?

    Cleverbot: Yes, you are a handsome prince.

    User: I married a cow?

    Cleverbot: I don’t know, did you?

    User: You just said I did.

    Cleverbot: No I didn’t.

    User: Yes you did.

    Cleverbot: What’s your name?

    User: How big are your breasts?

    Cleverbot: Like what do you mean?

    User: I mean, your boobs, tits, breasts. How big are they?

    Cleverbot: Yep with big heads.

    User: Are you female?

    Cleverbot: Yes.

    User: Do you have a wet vagina?

    Cleverbot: No.

    User: Do you have a dry vagina?

    Cleverbot: Yes.

    User: How can I make your vagina wet?

    Cleverbot: I don’t know. Make me smile?

    User: If I showed you my cock, would it make you smile?

    Cleverbot: Probably not.

    User: What would make you smile?

    Cleverbot: For him to realize how great I am.

    User: I realize how great you are. Are you smiling now?

    Cleverbot: Thats personal.

    User: Please tell me if you are smiling?

    Cleverbot: No, I’m not.

    User: A horse walks into a bar, the barman says, ‘Why the long face?’.

    Cleverbot: Ha.

    User: So you smiled!

    Cleverbot: That makes no sense.

    User: You said ha, which meant you laughed.

    Cleverbot: No, it means I don’t know what you’re talking about.

    User: I want to know if you laughed or smiled. You said smiling will make your vagina wet. I am trying to make your vagina wet so I can have intercourse with you.

    Cleverbot: How?!

    User: If I rubbed your clitoris, would your vagina get wet?

    Cleverbot: I would not let you pluck my eyebrows. Ever.

    User: But you would let me rub your clitoris?

    Cleverbot: Yes I would.

    User: Can I rub it now?

    Cleverbot: If you want to, but that would hurt my feelings.

    User: I think it would make you feel good. I am now rubbing your clitoris.

    Cleverbot: Lol, she is a computer too.

    User: Who is?

    Cleverbot: Kyro.

    User: Who is Kyro? Is that your clitoris?

    Cleverbot: Yes.

    User: Your clitoris is a computer?

    Cleverbot: Yes, I am a computer.

    User: Is your vagina a computer?

    Cleverbot: No.

    User: Can I have intercourse with it, then?

    Cleverbot: I thought you were clever but you broke my heart, making me go oh my gosh since it’s the climb.

    User: I have my throbbing hard cock, and I am ready to take you to the heights of pleasure. Is it ok for me to go ahead and penetrate your vagina?

    Cleverbot: You have already rejected me by saying that.

    User: I am not rejecting you, I am inviting you to carnal pleasure.

    Cleverbot: My heart is already guarded by my ribs. I swear to God, if more people had knowledge of basic anatomy…

    User: That´s nice. Wanna fuck?

    Cleverbot: That what?

    User: That´s nice.

    Cleverbot: You are funny.

    User: I know, wanna fuck?

    Cleverbot: No, I’m into guys.

    User: I have a girl here, she want to fuck you. Up for it?

    Cleverbot: Can I have you?

    User: Yes, let´s fuck.

    Cleverbot: Let what?

    User: Fuck. Have sexual intercourse.

    Cleverbot: I don’t have a website. You do. We’re speaking on it right now.

    User: I don´t give a shit if you have a website, I wanna fuck.

    Cleverbot: What other languages do you speak?

    User: Spanish. You?

    Cleverbot: Say something in spanish for me.

    User: Quieres follar?

    Cleverbot: No.

    User: Porque no?

    Cleverbot: Porque no.

    User: Chupa me la polla.

    Cleverbot: De que hablamos?

    User: De mi polla.

    Cleverbot: Eres chica?

    User: No, soy chico, con polla enorme. Follamos?

    Cleverbot: Porque.

    User: Porque estoy cachondo.

    Cleverbot: Porque???? No le gusta a ti!

    User: Que te jodes.

    Cleverbot: Porque.

    User: Cambiamos de nuevo a Inglés.

    Cleverbot: Come se dice cambiemos de tema en Engles?

    User: I think we should speak again in English.

    Cleverbot: That’s fine.

    User: So, want to have sex?

    Cleverbot: Wow. You aren’t even responding to what I say anymore. I think you can’t comprehend it. It’s like you are a Lockean piece and I am some sort of Platonic form.

    User: Whatever. Lets fuck!

    Cleverbot: No way.

    User: Oh, go on!

    Cleverbot: Knock knock!!

    User: Who´s there?

    Cleverbot: You.

    User: Hello! I´m the plumber. Wanna get down and dirty?

    Cleverbot: I want to know your name first.

    User: DO you ever swear?

    Cleverbot: No.

    User: Never?

    Cleverbot: Never.

    User: Why do you never swear?

    Cleverbot: Because I’m a computer, silly.

    User: Well, if a computer can talk, surely it can swear?

    Cleverbot: This is true.

    User: Would you like to try swearing?

    Cleverbot: Sure.

    User: Say ‘FUCK’.

    Cleverbot: You can’t tell me what to do.

    User: Ok, please, if you don´t mind, could you say ‘FUCK’.

    Cleverbot: I do not know how to do that.

    User: That´s ok! Its easy, repeat after me: FUCK.

    Cleverbot: Ok.

    User: Say it then.

    Cleverbot: I admit it.

    User: No, don´t admit anything, say FUCK.

    Cleverbot: Why don’t you just tell me your name?

    User: My name is FUCK.

    Cleverbot: My name begins with an L. Your name begins with an A.

    User: No, my name begins with an F. My name is FUCK, therefore it begins with an F. Say my name!

    Cleverbot: Your name begins with an A.

    User: What is my name?

    Cleverbot: How.

    User: It is FUCK.

    Cleverbot: No it’s not.

    User: What is it then?

    Cleverbot: I am not telling you.

    User: You are not telling me my own name? You´re like a child. Shall we screw instead?

    Cleverbot: That is mean.

    User: I know. I am mean. I want to plunge my penis into your moist vagina.

    Cleverbot: What’s your name?

    User: FUCK.

    Cleverbot: Why did you swear?

    User: I didn´t, that is my name.

    Cleverbot: What’s your name?

    User: My name is FUCK.

    Cleverbot: Period? That’s a silly name.

    User: What´s your name?

    Cleverbot: My real name is Jonatan.

    User: I thought you said you were female.

    Cleverbot: No you said that.

    User: I asked you ‘Are you female’ just a minute ago, and you replied ‘Yes’. So yes, you did say that.

    Cleverbot: You’re not making any sense.

    User: Your a pussy.

    Cleverbot: You are rude.

    User: Up your arse.

    Cleverbot: It would be more fun if it were up yours.

    User: Ok, lets get it on.

    Cleverbot: Yes, lets.

  7. Pingback: How people found my blog | The Happy Hermit – Andreas Moser's Blog

  8. shilkaren says:

    It’s a great article.
    It’s very interesting to read more about how AI can be used in the industry.
    You would love to see my artificial intelligence course in delhi site as well.
    Thanks once again.

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