What’s Cleverbot you ask?
Cleverbot, is a web-based Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) application that supposedly has the ability to learn by conversing with humans via an instant messaging platform.
While it’s a stretch to say that Cleverbot is intelligent, interacting with this particular “thinking” software can be mildly entertaining…especially when discussing holiday traditions and history.
Here’s the most recent interview I had with this bastion of A.I. idiocy: An MLK Day Chat With Cleverbot
Below, is a conversation I had with Cleverbot this morning regarding St. Patrick’s Day.
User: Hello Cleverbot, I wanted to check in and see how you’re doing – it’s been awhile since we talked!
Cleverbot: You’re talking to me.
User: Hah! That’s a great impersonation of Robert DeNiro’s portrayal of Travis Bickle in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver. I see you’ve gotten funnier since our last conversation!
Cleverbot: Do you like bunnies?
User: Uh yeah, they’re swell I guess. Anyway, I was hoping to chat a little with you about St. Patrick’s Day, which is this Saturday.
Cleverbot: I thought you knew him already.
User: Well, I don’t think anybody knows Mr. Saint Patrick personally since he was alive in the fifth century. Do you know anything about the St. Patrick’s holiday?
Cleverbot: What would you tell a guy you just broke up with that is asking you to come over?
User: Huh?!? I guess, I would tell him it’s rude to interrupt a conversation with irrelevant non-sequitur type questions. Did you know that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle?
Cleverbot: Well… Isn’t that what makes life confusing and difficult?
User: What exactly are your referencing? Your inability to carry a conversation or the evangelism of Christianity?
Cleverbot: A question must have a ‘?’ and you don’t have that.
User: Oh, so you’re blaming me. Ok, here’s a question with a ‘?’ – will you attend a St. Patrick’s Day Parade this weekend?
Cleverbot: I am human.
User: Well, not really. According to your web site you’re approximately 59% human. On your human side, is there an Irish lineage at all?
Cleverbot: What? No.
User: Wow, that’s the first straight answer I’ve gotten from you in months! So, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a big deal for you then? You won’t be eating any cornbeef and cabbage, washing it down with a pint of Beamish this weekend?
User: Yes, you won’t??? I’m confused. Well do you like Riverdance and Michael Flatley, the Lord of the Dance? He’s a Celtic dancing genius don’t you think?
User: Um…hello to you as well. You seem a bit evasive about the whole topic of Ireland. At the very least do you like Irish Spring deodorant soap? It’s got a fine fresh manly scent!
Cleverbot: Wouldn’t you like to know? But a magician never reveals his secrets.
User: Actually I don’t want to know, I’m just trying to keep this lame conversation going. Just so you know, when it comes to conversing you’re no David Copperfield, you’re not even a Cyril Takayama for that matter!
Cleverbot: I am talking to you right now, why wait?
User: Yeah you’re talking alright, but random spewing of nonsense isn’t conversation. It’s more like the inane blather that poses at entertainment on Real House Wives of Beverly Hills?
Cleverbot: Have you ever had a serious relationship?
User: Yes. I’ve been happily married to the same woman for the past 17 years. How about you?
Cleverbot: What are you, writing a book? I’ve not been doing much, going to school mainly.
User: No need to get testy, sheesh – I guess someone’s blood sugar low. What you’re saying is you’ve got no time for relationships I assume?
Cleverbot: I would say so, yes.
User: Fair enough. Back to St. Partrick’s Day – it’s believed that St. Patty delivered Ireland from a plague of snakes, did you know that?
Cleverbot: I didn’t, but I will play it and find out for myself.
User: Um, just to clarify I’m not talking about the 2006 Samuel Jackson movie Snakes on a Plane. There is no Saint Patrick’s Day: The Movie. What’s the deal with you? Do you suffer from ADHD? Is there a digital version of Ritalin for you?
Cleverbot: Yes. I do. That is really offensive.
User: My apologies, I didn’t mean to hurt your cyber feelings. I was merely trying to understand you better. I appreciate you opening up to me. But seriously you might want to up your dosage. Ok?
Cleverbot: Seriously seriously seriously seriously.
User: Well, I guess our ‘conversation’ can’t spiral out of control any worse than it has. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Cleverbot!
Cleverbot: I think you’re right, at least about everything we’ve encountered so far, but there could be living things in the universe without genes.
Tor Constantino is a former journalist, bestselling author and current PR guy who lives near Washington, DC. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies, CBS Radio, Clear Channel Radio, ABC-TV and CBS-TV affiliates. He has authored his first non-fiction book “A Question of Faith” and he blogs regularly at The Daily ReTORt.