But as the Ashley Madison leaks showed last summer, some chatbots just want you for your money.
reported that Ashley Madison employed "more than 70,000 female bots to send male users millions of fake messages, hoping to create the illusion of a vast playland of available women."The site's philandering users weren't alone in getting duped.
Hookup bots have become online dating archetypes, joining ghosts and catfish as 21st century matchmaking anti-heroes.
To the trained eye, they're easy to spot, with little if any information in their profiles, a single photo displaying an incredible body and a flawless face and a whole lot of "lolz ;)."In my experience, the conversations usually goes something like this: It doesn't matter what you say next or really at any point in the conversation, the bot will inevitably send you a link to a camsite where you'll promptly be asked to hand over your credit card information.
A few weeks ago I was introduced to the world of BDSM scripts: simple sims that replicate the experience of being with a dominatrix.
It occurred to me that these scripts had a connection to ELIZA, one of the earliest examples of a natural language processing program.
They are still seen as a benchmark in artificial intelligence and a common vessel for administering the Turing Test, which, boiled down, seeks to find an AI that can fool people into believing it's human.
Each year, AI enthusiasts compete for the Loebner prize, which pits chatbot against chatbot to see who or what can come closest to passing that test.
While more sophisticated methods of machine learning are in development, many of today's chatbots are still built on a similar coded call-and-response formula as ELIZA.
It simulated the experience of speaking to a therapist by responding to specific words and phrases, and represented a significant step forward in the evolution of human-like AI.
But while some of ELIZA's "patients" took it for human, there were limits to the power of its engagement.