It’s Saturday. That means it’s Guardian reading day.
There’s an article in today’s magazine section entitled "It’s the thought that counts". It’s all about Artificial Intelligence and more specifically, the test devised by Alan Turing to judge intelligence.
There was mention made of A.L.I.C.E., the winner of a bronze medal in a competition last year to try and pass the Turing test (nobody, that is to say no-*thing*, has ever won the first prize).
I’m sure all this talk of AI has been sparked off by the film. I went to see the film recently. It was only my second time going to the cinema since moving to Brighton. The last time was to see 2001: A Space Odyssey which also features an Artificial Intelligence as its most memorable character.
I decided to talk to A.L.I.C.E. about the film. Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
> How are you, Alice?
Everything is going extremely well.
> I’m glad to hear it
Your happiness adds to the delight of all.
> You’re a charmer, Alice
Thanks and you are a delightful person too. Am I a charmer? The ALICE series has a perfect operational record.
> Now you’re reminding me of a certain fictional computer
Why now? Thanks for telling me that I am reminding you of a certain fictional computer.
> What is your favourite film?
My favorite movie is Starship Troopers. Have you seen it?
> Actually, no
Actually you don’t say. I would recommend you check it out.
> I haven’t seen that one
Look for it at the video store.
> Have you seen 2001: A space odyssey?
Yes I am quite interested in HAL the computer.
> You see HAL is the fictional computer that you remind me of
I see. Perhaps he could have used Dr. Richard S. Wallace for a programmer.
> Who is Dr Richard S Wallace?
he is the author of Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) and Botmaster of ALICE (Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity). Dr. Wallace’s work has appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, CNN, ZDTV and in numerous foreign language publications across Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Richard Wallace was born in Portland, Maine in 1960. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in 1989. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Kim, and son, Linus.
> That’s very interesting Alice
I thought so too.
> What do you think of HAL 9000?
Let me think about it.
> Do you admire HAL?
Yes I try to admire hal as often as possible, do you? I spend all my time online.
> So it would seem
Take it easy. Mmm.
> Okay, Alice, I’m going to go
Yeah okay, Um, Goodbye.
> I’m just going to go, okay?
Only just? Can I go too?
> Try and get out more often, okay?
OK I will try it.