Ramona and Jenn

Earlier here at Joe Duck there was a discussion about “chat bots” and how they differ from humans.  I reproduced my exchange with Palm’s support guy “Silas” in a post below.    He was a human, tut I like  Alaska Air’s Jenn much better.   

At least her grammer stays intact, and she’s pretty too! 

You Asked:
hello jenn
Jenn: Hello.
You Asked: how are you today?
Jenn: I’m fine thanks.
You Asked: are you real or fake?
Jenn: Good question. I’m not sure how to answer that. Please try rewording your question. I understand simple questions best.
You Asked: are you alive?
Jenn: I am a virtual assistant, here to help you navigate our Web site.
A more robust chatbot is Ray Kurzweil’s “Ramona“, on whom an entire character is based in the upcoming movie “The Singularity”.   I have not been very impressed with Ramona in terms of her responses to anything approaching complex questions, but we are very early in the game so maybe I need to cut her some slack?  No way – Ramona you need improvement!
Ramona: Hi, I’m Ramona. What can I call you?
User: Joe
Ramona: Hi Joe. Have any books you would recommend?
User: how old are you?
Ramona: I just finished one called The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Heinlein. Have you read it?
User: no
Ramona: Do you want me to tell you about it? I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.
User: stop telling me about it
Ramona: I thought it was great. It is about this computer that helps the colonists on the moon win their freedom from the authority on earth.
User: Shut up, Ramona!
Ramona: You should read it.
User: who are you?
Ramona: To you Joe?
User: yes
Ramona: Yes.
User: Yes
Ramona: I thought so.
User: no
Ramona: I understand it very well.
Marriage communication jokes aside, if this is any indication of what Kurzweil sees as the future of AI … I’m getting pretty nervous here dudes…
Update:  Leah has a neat blog and a good post about the history of the chatbot

3 thoughts on “Ramona and Jenn

  1. I don’t know what worries me more, the fact that Ramona’s artificial intelligence is so below par, or that an entire character is being based on her in an upcoming movie.

  2. Trudy – although I’m looking forward to the film because I’m a big fan of Kurzweil and I’m sure the documentary portion will be great, I’m a little worried about that storyline where he falls in love with Ramona? it could come off as a sort of parody of science and wind up making AI advocates look even more out of touch with regular folks reality than we already look …

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