Inspired by Weizenbaum’s ELIZA, Ben Weber has created a chatbot that converses with other players in online games of StarCraft. The bot’s name is EISBot. “Once every thirty seconds,” explains Weber, “EISBot randomly selects a message from a pool of 75 messages and sends it to the console.” As the following transcript reveals, the bot’s randomly chosen messages fit seamlessly into the conversation:
EISBot: What to ally victory?
Player: damn you
Player: im not stupid
EISBot: Wanna join my clan
Player: im not that great
EISBot: So, this game is pretty much over
Player: im playing off race
EISBot: Quit wasting time, come kill me
EISBot: What kind of hardware are you using? I’m on a 486 with 16M ram, pure luxory!!!
Player: i dunno
EISBot: PWN PWN PWN!
EISBot: I’m a huge nonyt fanboy
EISBot: Have you played SC 2 yet?
Player: pretty sick
EISBot: Have you ever played against a C player?
Player: i lost
EISBot: Did you see the past OSL?
Note that the bot’s one major flaw is that its command of the English language, particularly the use of punctuation marks, is much too sophisticated in comparison with that of the human. The sure way to distinguish the computer’s messages from the human’s is to recognize that the computer has a rather sentimental attachment to the apostrophe and the comma.
I take this as another indication that I am correct in my suspicion that when computers finally pass the Turing test it won’t be because computers have become smarter; it will be because humans have become dumber.