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.