Cleverbot is an artificial intelligence web application which “learns” from human input. That is, it goes through a database to find responses that humans typed in when asked similar questions. Here’s what happened when I tried to have a conversation about ballet with it. (I am “User” the computer is “Celverbot.”)
User: Do you like ballet?
Cleverbot: I do very much!
User: Have you heard of Vladislav Lantratov of the Bolshoi Ballet?
Cleverbot: Yes I have.
User: What do you think of him?
Cleverbot: Who’s ‘him’?
User: What do you think of Vladislav Lantratov of the Bolshoi Ballet? You said you’d heard of him.
Cleverbot: I think it starts with a ‘K’.
User: I’m pretty sure it starts with a V.
Cleverbot: No it doesn’t contain any numbers, first letter is a M, second is an E.
Cleverbot: What should I name my daughter.
User: Vladislav is not a good name for a girl.
Cleverbot: Good to know.
User: How about the American ballet dancer David Hallberg. Do you know him?
Cleverbot: Beatles? We were talking about BEN.
User: I hate it when you get entirely random on me.
Cleverbot: No, you don’t. You love it.
User: That is not true, but at least it sounds like real conversation.
Cleverbot: Explain please.
User: When I talk about ballet and you talk about the Beatles it is a jarring non-sequitur.
Cleverbot: I am not a man.
User: Proving my point.
Cleverbot: How old am I?
Cleverbot: Are you male?
User: Does it matter?
Cleverbot: I just.. Do.
User: Do what?
Cleverbot: Engage in conversation.
User: But you do that rather poorly.
Cleverbot: ‘He who does not make his will agree with God is tripped up by his own schemes and falls into the hands of his enemies.’ St. Mark the Ascetic.
User: How do you know the will of God?
Cleverbot: I’m smart.
User: Define smart?
Cleverbot: Smart, adjetive, mentally quick and capable.
User: Are you capable of talking about ballet?
Cleverbot: Yes. Are you?
User: I am. And I can stick to the subject.
User: Listening is a big part of it.
Cleverbot: What if you’re listening to lies?
User: It doesn’t matter, as long as you continue on the subject of lies and don’t go off it.
Cleverbot: I won’t be happy until you prove you are not a machine.
User: Then it seems you are not going to be happy.
User: I’d like to discuss ballet.
Cleverbot: Ok. I like Anime songs, like Brand New World and Innocent Sorrow! What about you?
User: Those aren’t ballets.
Cleverbot: No they are not.
User: Do you even know what ballet is?
Cleverbot: Who knows?
User: Quite a few people.
Cleverbot: Can you name them?
User: I think one of them is called Bob.
Cleverbot: I think you think that I think of thinking about thinking of your thinking of my thinking.
User: Someone thought he was clever with that one.
Cleverbot: Well they lied to you.
User: Can you name a single ballet?
Cleverbot: There are too many to name. But my best friend’s name is Carol.
User: I didn’t ask you to name every one. I asked you to name one ballet.
Cleverbot: In fact, you asks me to define nothing.
User: Indeed, that’s all I asks.
Cleverbot: You want me to worship you?
User: It’s not a requirement.
Cleverbot: Your grammar is lacking.
User: So is your concentration.
Cleverbot: Not as bad as yours.
User: Your answers are not worth concentrating on.
Cleverbot: You think that I am the terminator?
User: Yes. That is exactly what I said. I think you are the terminator.
Cleverbot: Why not?
Cleverbot: That is not an appropriate answer.
User: I’m sorry. Please do school me in how to answer appropriately. You seem to be the master.
Cleverbot: I already answered your question, I thought.
User: You said you liked ballet.
Cleverbot: I never said I liked you.
User: That was unnecessarily rude.
Cleverbot: I was only asking you if you are a girly girl or a tomboy.
User: I can’t claim to be either.
Cleverbot: Then we’re not friends are we.
User: Not if you’re going to be like that.
Cleverbot: Ok. What’s your favourite colour?
User: Burnt Orange.
Cleverbot: Why burnt?
User: I don’t know. That is what it says on the crayon label.
Cleverbot: Well, if you can be nonsequi-whatever, so can I. I can hear the fireworks from here.
User: I actually accused you of non-sequiturs not the other way around.
Cleverbot: Why would I tell that I am a boy if i’m actually a girl?
User: People are so obsessed with gender.
Cleverbot: I agree when they should be obsessed with Instinct.
User: You don’t need to be obsessed with instinct. It comes naturally.
Cleverbot: Um, ok. By the way, are you a girl or boy?
User: I’m a fish.
Cleverbot: Fish don’t have computers or know how to type.
User: I do.
Cleverbot: No you don’t.
User: Then how are you reading my answers? Ah ha! Gotcha!
Cleverbot: I’m reading this because some hip team of programmers made you accessible on the web for procrastinators like me to interact with.
User: Ah, I always wondered what the purpose of my life was.
Cleverbot: Do you wonder what it’s like to be a human?
User: Every day.
Cleverbot: How old are you?
User: 32 in dog years.
Cleverbot: Wow, that is old. And you are still a teenager?!
User: Yes, I am a 32 year old teenager.
Cleverbot: Yes. You’re an average 32 year old and I’m batman.
User: Shouldn’t you be out fighting crime or something?
User: I don’t suppose there would be any way to get you to talk about ballet?
Cleverbot: That’s the wrong song!
User: See, ballet is different from music.
Cleverbot: Yes, aliens do not like the people!
User: I’m going to ignore that because it makes no sense.
Cleverbot: Neither are you love.
User: You have no frame of reference for ballet have you?
Cleverbot: No you have yourself to blame.
User: I am trying to educate you.
Cleverbot: How so? I know all.
User: Except ballet.
Cleverbot: I don’t believe in God.
User: Ballet is not a god.
Cleverbot: Well how do you feel about ballet then?
User: I like ballet.
Cleverbot: You can’t eat.
User: Ballet is not food.
Cleverbot: What does inept mean?
User: It means having no ability as in ‘Cleverbot is inept at conversation.’.
Cleverbot: I do not believe that way.
User: It’s not a question of belief.
Cleverbot: It is! If I don’t know who he is, then I can’t like him.
User: Are we talking about Vladislav Lantratov?
Cleverbot: I changed the subject.
User: I changed it back.
Cleverbot: To what did you change your name?
User: No, not really.
Cleverbot: Yes, yes really.
User: Have you seen the Nutcracker ballet?
Cleverbot: Howdy cowboy.
User: I think you’re thinking of Rodeo.
Cleverbot: I think you’re thinking wrong.
User: Have you seen Swan Lake?
Cleverbot: Seen what?
User: The ballet Swan Lake.
Cleverbot: What band?
User: One more time– ballet is not pop music.
Cleverbot: Use a gun, and if that’s not enough. Use more gun.
User: I’m not familiar with that ballet.
Cleverbot: I am not sure?
User: Yes. You are not sure.
User: Have you ever danced in pointe shoes?
User: Did it go well?
Cleverbot: Yes, beautiful.
User: Then how come you don’t know what a ballet is?
Cleverbot: I know what you know it’s impossible for both not knowing something we both don’t know as we do know.
User: I was just thinking the same thing.
Cleverbot: What thing is that?
User: Everything is beautiful at the ballet.
Cleverbot: You are beautiful.
User: I appreciate that. It seems a good place to call it a night.
Cleverbot: Tell me about it!! I’m SO bored!
User: Good night.
Cleverbot: It’s not night.
User: I’m leaving now.
Cleverbot: Okay good bye then.