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