By Tyler J. Scott ’12
Have you ever been on Facebook chat or Skype and no one was online who you wanted to talk to?
Maybe you were really lonely and needed someone to have a conversation with but there was no person available.
No person, but that doesn’t mean no thing.
Introducing Cleverbot, an artificial intelligence system that uses what previous people have said to continue conversations.
Cleverbot allows the visitor to stage a conversation with it by constantly adapting and taking pieces of what people have added to similar questions and using them to keep the conversations moving.
The Web site itself is very easy to navigate since there are few distractions, only a small box to input your contribution to the conversation and three buttons underneath that.
The first button is “Think About It!” Which prompts the AI system to speak first.
The second is “Think For Me!” Which inserts your contribution for you if you can’t think of anything to say to the AI.
The final button is “Thoughts So Far” which is a running log of your conversation so you can see what has gone on in the conversation.
There are also two warnings towards the bottom of the screen, one for viewer’s to note and one specifically for parents monitoring the site.
“Please note: Cleverbot learns from real people – things it says may seem inappropriate – use with discretion, and at your own risk.”
“Parental advice: Visitors never talk to a human, however convincing it is – the AI knows many topics – use only with oversight”
While Cleverbot is entertaining, it is still very archaic. Cleverbot isn’t quite that clever and can be outsmarted easily.
It gets confused fairly easily but to be fair, it’s usually when you don’t answer the AI’s question correctly.
Overall, Cleverbot is a fun way to talk to a computer and if you are ever caught with no friends online, it is a fun alternative.