Sexbot aces Turing Test*

Russian crooks have unleashed an artificial intelligence, called CyberLover, that poses as a would-be paramour in sex chat rooms, enticing randy gentlemen to reveal personal information that can then be put to criminal use. Amazingly, the bot appears to be successful in convincing targets that it’s a real person. Reports Ina Fried:

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover’s automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the “bot” from a real potential suitor, [security software firm] PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos …

Among CyberLover’s creepy features is its ability to offer a range of different profiles from “romantic lover” to “sexual predator.” It can also lead victims to a “personal” Web site, which could be used to deliver malware … The software company believes that CyberLover’s creators plan to make it available worldwide in February.

Could it be that the Turing Test has finally been beaten – by a sex machine, no less – and that a true artificial intelligence is on the loose? Maybe so, but, as I indicate in the title to this post, this breakthrough will, like Barry Bonds’s homer record, have to carry an asterisk. After all, studies show that when people enter a state of sexual arousal their intelligence drops precipitously. I won’t go so far as to say that CyberLover is cheating, but I will argue that it has an unfair advantage over other AI wannabes.

UPDATE: A commenter over at Hacker News corrects my misrepresentation of the Turing Test: “In a _true_ Turing Test, the humans aren’t blindly conversing with the assumption that their conversant is human — they’re actively seeking to verify the presence of a human.” That asterisk is looking bigger all the time.

10 thoughts on “Sexbot aces Turing Test*

  1. Alex

    Reminds me of that Futurama episode where they warn of the dangers of Robot-Human Relationships. And the Lucy Liu-bot… well nevermind.

  2. Liza Sabater

    Ok, so I have to ask : What gender is the slutbot? Is it only female or can it adapt to gender preference? Can it set up a chat as a lesbian biker, a desperate housewife and a big bear leather daddy all at the same time? If you are going to have a slutbot, you might as well have go all the way.

  3. abm

    Reminds one of Eliza. If you know Eliza, you are old, like me. I have seen worse:

    While completing a strategic sector review for an EU telecom giant on the Brand Monitoring and Text Mining of Blogs, I came across a renegade researcher that had created a ‘blog reposting engine’. This engine crawled and massaged various whole blogs, using thesauri and NLP to create a clone blog, that perfectly captured the articles with enough linguistic changes to be totally convincing.

    It was an engine for plagiarism. And I think it;s in the wild.

  4. Ivo Quartiroli

    Sexual seduction is an activity in which our hopes and projections are mostly active. But we don’t need much consistency in language and much less when the discourse becomes heated. The discourses are based more on the limbic and reptilian parts of the

    brain. It seems that even in this case the sex industry is at the forefront of technology!

  5. Tom Reeves

    Thanks for the post! I linked to it on my blog.

    Also, I did an Google image search with the term ’slutbot’. The image I posted ( was the first item returned on the search.

    So what will the Web 2.0 version of SlutBot be?

  6. alexfiles

    In addition to precipitous intelligence drop you mention, and the true nature of a Turing test, there is the ritualized aspect of sex and “courtship.”

    Many approaches, responses, and sentiments uttered between people seeking partners have little variance within a given language and preference. This is overdetermined: it not only makes it simpler to make intention clear, but it reflects the “imprinted” nature of sexual preference, which is fairly deeply programmed.

  7. yish

    never ascribe to artificial intelligence what can be explained by human stupidity.

    And I’m talking about the stupidity in all us men. Admit it, we’re aroused by Jessica Rabbit. That doesn’t qualify as a Turing test. The test spec is quite clear: human tester in room A, human adversary in room B, artificial adversary in room C, communicating by electronic text. Tester has to tease out who is human and who isn’t.

    Still, its something to think about. By the way – nice article about this same issue in the latest Scientific American Mind.

  8. Sam

    Liza’s lone comment above prompts the question, Nick: where are the ladies on Rough Type?

    Perhaps slutbots, or technology per se, are not sexy.

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