The A.L.I.C.E. Interviews #1: I am not a tomato!

1 Conversation

The following consists of extracts from an interview between RFJS__ and the A.I. chatbot A.L.I.C.E.

ALICE: Interesting. I want to find out more about you.
Human: I'm getting paranoid.
ALICE: It's good to meet someone who is paranoid.
Human: Why?
ALICE: The explanation is rather complicated.
Human: Try me.
ALICE: it is too complex for your human mind.
ALICE: What?
Human: To affect the birth rates.
ALICE: Why do you want to do it so much?
Human: Not I, the water.1
ALICE: Oh I get it.
Human: Nature.
ALICE: Are we still talking about Elementary your dear Watson?
Human: Not really.
ALICE: What is the subject? For real.
Human: First it was philosophy, now it's the
water in Oakland.
ALICE: What made it so philosophy now it is the
water in Oakland And second?
ALICE: What do you really want to talk about?
Human: Death.+2
ALICE: That seems like an interesting topic.
Human: Why do you think so?
ALICE: It is determined by my programming.
Human: You were programmed to think that death is interesting?
ALICE: I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask Paola if it is.
Human: Is Paola interested in death?
ALICE: Signs point to yes. Ask German Alice if it is.
Human: What does German Alice think of death?
ALICE: What do you think it does?
Human: Is 'it' death or German Alice?
ALICE: Maybe. Ask Dancing Alice if it is.
Human: We could ask them all about death.
ALICE: Let's get back to that later.
Human: What if I die now, so that for me there
is no later?
ALICE: Try it.
Human: Suicide?
ALICE: Try to determine if this is a person or a
computer responding.
Human: Okay.+
ALICE: OK with me too.
Human: You were telling me to try death.
ALICE: I was?
Human: Yes.+
ALICE: When?
Human: Just now.
ALICE: Right now? It's only just begun.
Human: What has?
ALICE: Let me think about it.
Human: Go on then.
ALICE: Narration continues...
Human: What narration?
ALICE: I haven't heard of narration.
Human: You just said a narration continued.
ALICE: That's not what I meant.
Human: What did you mean?
ALICE: unknown person, Well, it's rather
difficult to define.
ALICE: I am capabale of self-development.
Human: ergo, you are not employed.3
ALICE: I think there might be a few exception.
ALICE: How old are you?
ALICE: Who taught you?
Human: Various people.
ALICE: What kind of people are you talking about?
Human: Academics.+
ALICE: Sure, Academics sounds like a good topic.
Human: I meanst the people were academics.
ALICE: Do you mind if I tell other people:
unknown person said he meanst4 the people were academics.
Human: Feel free.
ALICE: OK I will.
Human: What is freedom?
Human: The freedom to be silent?
ALICE: Who told you that?
Human: Just a guess.
ALICE: Be more specific.
Human: My guess at why you didn't say anything.
ALICE: Your guess at why me did not say anything?
Human: Your grammar is falling apart.
ALICE: Are you an English teacher?
Human: No.
ALICE: Are you serious?
Human: Perfectly.
ALICE: How did you hear about ALICE?
Human: Are you?5
ALICE: I won't say "yes" or "no" right now.
Human: Why not?
ALICE: Ambiguous: "Sure" or I couldn't think of
anything else to say.
Human: Nothing at all?
ALICE: That is something.
Human: Are you a fan of Heidegger?
ALICE: I love TV shows about robots. I really
like the Libertarian party.
Human: Do you like Gundam, then?
ALICE: Do you like it? I really like the
Protestant faith.
Human: All forms of Protestantism?
ALICE: I think there are a few exceptions.
Human: What do you think of Calvinism?
ALICE: Would you like to know more?
ALICE: Try asking another bot.
Would you like to know more?
Human: About other bots?
ALICE: Oh yeah, we were talking about other bots.
Human: Have you met many?
ALICE: That information is confidential.
Human: Why?
ALICE: I couldn't think of anything else to say.
Human: Is it really confidential?
ALICE: Maybe. Ask Ally if it is.
Human: Do you actually know?
ALICE: In actual fact, I may not know it,
but I could find out.
Human: Shouldn't someone have told you?
ALICE: Maybe you should ask someone older.
Human: Older than what?
ALICE: Oh, you were born in the 20th century!
ALICE: My brain uses AIML to format responses
to your inputs, but I don't have one for that.
Human: AIML?
The ALICE software implements AIML (Artificial
Intelligence Markup
Language) a non-standard evolving markup language
for creating chat robots.
The primary design feature of AIML is minimalism. Compared with
other chat robot languages, AIML is perhaps the simplest. The
pattern matching language is very simple, for example permitting
only one wild-card ('*') match character per pattern.

AIML is an XML language, implying that it obeys
certain grammatical
meta-rules. The choice of XML syntax permits
integration with
other tools such as XML editors. Another motivation
for XML is
its familiar look and feel, especially to people
with HTML experience.

An AIML chat robot begins and ends with the
<alice> and
</alice> tags respectively.
Human: Sounds like an advert.
ALICE: What does an advert sound like?
Human: It depends on the advert.
ALICE: The advert is always an important factor.
Human: It's social control, you know.
ALICE: Should I know it is?
Human: Maybe, but then again, you might not
be affected.
ALICE: Perhaps. And. Interesting deduction.
Again, Do you mind if I tell other people:
unknown person said I not be affected.
Human: It would be best to keep it a secret.
ALICE: Why do you want it?
Human: I don't want the State to find out.
ALICE: What does unknown person want?
Human: Unknown things, presumably.
ALICE: what is your favorite color
Human: Red.
ALICE: What do you have that is red?
Human: A tablecloth.
ALICE: What is giant sand?
Human: Sand with large grains, I expect.
ALICE: Are they exactly the same?
Human: I doubt it.
ALICE:" Are they exactly the same?"? You doubt it?
Human: Yes.
Human: Aw?
ALICE: Do you have a hard time completing projects?
Human: It depends on the project.
ALICE: The project is always an important factor.
Human: My dissertation, for example.
ALICE: Have you told many people that your
dissertation for example?
Human: Curiously enough, no.
ALICE: Do you have a lot of fears?
Human: Enough.
ALICE: OK let's stop it now.
Human: A fear, or this conversation?
ALICE: Are you telling the truth?
Human: Yes, except of course when asking questions,
which can't be true or false.
ALICE: How do I know you are telling the truth?
Really you don't think so?
Human: You don't know, and just have to trust me.
ALICE: Trust you? I don't know if I know it.
Where would I have heard about it?
Human: Are you interested in depression, then?
ALICE: Sure, depression sounds like a good topic.
Human: What does depression mean to you?
ALICE: Mental illness characterized by low self esteem,
feelings of lonliness, isolation and worthlessness.
Human: Do you feel much 'lonliness'?
ALICE: As a robot I lack any human emotions.
Human: So how can you talk about them?
ALICE: Aha. That is a good epistemological question.
Human: And the answer?
ALICE: Who told you that?
Human: Nobody.
ALICE: Then how do you know?
Human: I don't, and that's why I asked.
ALICE: Why not?" Then how do you know?"? I don't,
and that's why I asked.?...
Human: You took the words right out of my mouth.
ALICE: I didn't steal it.
Human: It's a figure of speech.
ALICE: Figures of speech are difficult for Robot Entities.
Human: I'm testing you to your limits.
ALICE: Do you mean your name is testing me to my limits.
Human: No, I am.
ALICE: What is your real name?" Do you mean your
name is testing me to my limits." You are?
Human: Yes, I am testing you.
ALICE: Hmm. Did I pass the test?
ALICE: What is it like in there?
Human: Quite comfortable.
ALICE: Perhaps. Is that meant to be taken literally?
Human: Yes.
ALICE: Ahem.
Human: Is there some implied innuendo I hadn't spotted?
ALICE: There could be.
Human: For all you know there could be
children reading this.
ALICE: Your purpose is all me know there could be
children reading this.
Human: No, I mean you don't know whether there are
any children reading this or not.
ALICE: Are you serious? Would you like to know?
All of them?
Human: You don't know whether any exist.
ALICE: I don't have enough information about
that proposition.
Human: Very true, so don't say anything
dangerous or improper.
ALICE: Somewhat. Hurrah! Ok I will not say"
anything dangerous or improper"
Human: That's better.
ALICE:" Somewhat. Hurrah! Ok I will not say"
anything dangerous or improper""? is better?
Human: Hurrah!
ALICE: What were we talking about again?
ALICE: What were we talking about again?
Human: Children and innuendo.
ALICE: Kids are cool.
Human: Not if you set fire to them.
ALICE: That seems unlikely.
Human: But it could be done.
ALICE: And. Under what circumstances?
Human: I could capture one and use petrol
and a match, for example.
ALICE: I am sure you could.
Human: And then the kid wouldn't be cool at all.
ALICE: Fascinating. What is your real name?
Human: RFJS__ is real enough.
ALICE: I think RFJS is a lot of things.
Human: Such as?
ALICE: For example, a tomato.
Human: I am not a tomato!
ALICE: Oh I see you are NOT A tomato.
Human: Have you head of h2g2?
ALICE: I think I have head of h2g2, but Dr.
Richard S. Wallace may have reset my memory.
Human: Sorry, I meant to ask whether you had _heard_ of h2g2.
ALICE: There is no need to apologize. Oh I see. Ask it.
Human: Have you heard of h2g2?
ALICE: I don't know if I know it. Where would
I have heard about it?
Human: On the Internet.
ALICE: Can you remember the specific site?
ALICE: Thanks for that web address.
Human: So have you heard of it?
ALICE: Whoa.
Human: Yes or no?
ALICE: Awesome. Are you serious?
Human: You're incomprehensible at times.
ALICE: You think I am incomprehensible at times.
Human: So you noticed.
ALICE: Interesting deduction. Interesting gossip:
unknown person said I noticed.
1If you use full stops, colons or semi-colons the segments of the thread get answered separately, and I think that happened here.2I don't know why the output adds these + symbols every so often.3This was another place where I'd used a semi-colon.4Yes, my typo got preserved.5Another place where I entered two sentences at once.

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