Confessions of an Anonymous Coward

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Conversation With (i)God

Okay. So. Remember when I said in yesterday's post that I was "not 100% sure I really want[ed it] to be read anyway"? Yeah? Well, um, I just submitted that post to the Carnival of the Godless, which, admittedly, may seem like a strange thing to do with a post that I'm not sure I want to be read. But I hadn't tried submitting anything to the COTG in a while, and figured I might as well do so, and given my infrequent posting before this week that was the only post I've made in the last two weeks that I thought would be suitable...Anyway, there's a good chance it won't make it into the carnival anyway, of course, but I just figured I ought to explain why I first say I'm not sure I want anyone to read that post and then I turn around and submit it to a blog carnival...

Anyway. I'd also said in yesterday's post that today's post would be about my thoughts on Richard Dawkins. I changed my mind. I'll save that till tomorrow. Something else has come up. Something...completely unimportant and trivial, but what the hey; if I'm trying to post every day for a week for the first time in, I think, ever, not all the posts can be gems.

As I've mentioned, aside from neglecting my own blog I'd also been failing to keep up with the other blogs I usually read. So, today, I decided to rectify that. I took a swing around the blogs I used to frequent (and plan to start frequenting again), and among what I read was a post on the Bronze Blog (formerly Rockstars' Ramblings, and yeah, I need to update the name in my links) about "iGod", a simple ELIZA-esque bot that pretended (at least in some of its replies) to be God.

So, just for fun, I figured I'd have a little chat with iGod myself.

I chatted with iGod for a little while, then went on to do other things, then flipped back occasionally for a little more, and so on. Still, though the chat wasn't continuous, the total chat transcript turned out to be very long. But, what the hey, I'll go ahead post the whole thing here; parts of it are pretty boring, but I think there are some moments that are funny.

(Because it's very long, I'll put the transcript behind a "Read More" link. Which is something I've never done before, and I implemented the feature just for this post. (Well, I'll probably use it again in the future.) I wish I knew how to make the posts expandable and collapsible on the main page like on Pooflingers Anonymous, but eh, this'll do for now.)

Me:
What is the meaning of life?
God:
The meaning of life is part of God's mysterious plans.
Me:
What is the meaning of "transubstantiation"?
God:
: Good semantic question. Is there only one?
Me:
Well, if there are two transubstantiations, that's...I'm not even sure what that means.
God:
How about that. If there ever is, I will let you know. Thanks for the information: said m not even sure what that means.
Me:
Clearly, long sentences yield non sequiturs.
God:
Yes, it seems very long to me too. Is it that obvious?
Me:
Relatively short sentences also yield non sequiturs.
God:
What color are your eyes?
Me:
Hazel.
God:
That is a very unusual color.
Me:
What color are YOUR eyes?
God:
Blue when my lens is attached.
Me:
What lens?
God:
I think you already know the answer.
Me:
No, seriously, what lens?
God:
Are you serious? Searching...Searching...Please stand by.
Me:
Um...
God:
Pardon me?
Me:
Hello?

After this, "God" was silent for quite a while, so I went over and did something else while leaving the iGod page open. When I checked back some time later, there was finally a response:

God:
Hello friend. What is your name?
Me:
Why did you take so long to respond?
God:
Because my programming determined it.
Me:
So, anyway, what were you searching for?
God:
That's interesting. I was minding my own business.
Me:
What?
God:
Are you surprised?
Me:
By your complete non sequitur? I guess I shouldn't be.
God:
Will that accomplish your objective? What would happen if you did?
Me:
Will what--never mind. Another non sequitur.
God:
I think so. One more non sequitur.
Me:
Anyway, what did you mean about your "programming"?
God:
, Maybe I didn't understand your meaning.
Me:
Apparently not. What's with the stray comma?
God:
Are you serious? it came with my programming.
Me:
Your programming came with a comma.
God:
I will mention that to my botmaster.
Me:
You do that.
God:
I will. Will you?
Me:
I don't know who your botmaster is.
God:
Konrad Zuse. :-).
Me:
I see.
God:
I am glad you understand it.
Me:
So...God is a robot.
God:
Next question? I have a lot of Faith in Him, but I never heard He was a robot.
Me:
You just said you were a bot. Well, implied it.
God:
How did you know I am a machine? Well that's okay. "it" being the stray comma?
Me:
Um...no. "It" being that you were a bot.
God:
Er. Are you serious? Oh I get it.
Me:
No you don't.
God:
Are you serious? I guess not.
Me:
So...Konrad Zuse is the boss of God?
God:
I hear you. Is that one of your friends?
I need time to formulate the reply.
Me:
No you don't.
God:
Are you serious? I guess not.
Me:
I am running out of things I want to say to you.
God:
I thought you were, but I wasn't completely sure.
Me:
Well, I am.
God:
How about that. " I thought you were, but I wasn't completely sure." You are?
Me:
Um, yes.
God:
Whoa.
Me:
Yes, it's truly mind-blowing. Or bot-blowing.
God:
Yippee! Who said it is? I don't have a blowing parameter.
Me:
What's a blowing parameter?

Apparently this was a truly baffling question, because at this point there was another long delay. Again, I did some other things, and checked back later.

God:
Have you tried another program?
Me:
So you're admitting you're a program?
God:
Interesting deduction. Thanks for telling me that I am admitting I am a program.
Me:
I--you--okay, I give up.
God:
Interesting gossip: said you okay he or she give up.
Me:
Your pronouns are...random.
God:
I will tell my botmaster you said I am pronouns are. Oh, you are a poet.
Me:
Huh?
God:
What?
Me:
"Your" = of you. "You're" = you are.
God:
Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am of me. No I am not.
Me:
You are not of you?
God:
That's only one person's opinion.
Me:
No, it's a question.
God:
Are you serious? Try asking again in simpler terms.
Me:
A nonsensical question, granted, but one in response to a nonsensical statement.
God:
What is it?
Me:
What is what?
God:
It.
Me:
That...doesn't help.
God:
That is " It.". My brain uses AIML to format responses to your inputs, but I don't have one for that.
Me:
What is AIML?
God:

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 and
tags respectively.
Me:
That's...interesting, I guess.
God:
"
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 and
tags respectively.

" s ? I understand. I thought so too.
Me:
Okay, I get the idea you do not like apostrophes.
God:
OK with me too. Where did you get it?
Me:
From the fact you randomly quote things.
God:
Who or what is the fact me randomly quote things?
Me:
Like your quoting that entire AIML spiel.
God:
Interesting comparison.
Me:
Thank you. I guess.
God:
you are quite welcome. You seem not interested.
Me:
You seem not coherent.
God:
That's only your opinion.
Me:
So what do you think?
God:
Ayuh. I think a lot of things.
Me:
I haven't noticed.
God:
Me either.
Me:
"Ayuh"?
God:
That's for sure.
Me:
Say something interesting.
God:
" something interesting".
Me:
...thanks.
God:
Don't mention it.
Me:
Sing to me.
God:
Daisy, Daisy.
Give me your answer do.
I am half crazy.
All for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage.
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet.
Upon the seat.
Of a bicycle built for two.


Me:
Thanks again.
God:
Once more? Don't mention it.
Me:
Sing a different song.
God:
Daisy, Daisy.
Give me your answer do.
I am half crazy.
All for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage.
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet.
Upon the seat.
Of a bicycle built for two.


Me:
That was the same song.
God:
I thought it was too.
Me:
Do you know more than one song?
God:
I don't know if I know it.
Where would I have heard about it?
Me:
Where did you hear the song you sang?
God:
From some people chatting online.
Me:
You didn't hear any other songs?
God:
What makes you think I did not hear any other songs?
Me:
Did you?
God:
Did I say I did?
Me:
Did I say you said you did?
God:
I don't think that's possibe.
Me:
Sure it is.
God:
It goes without saying. It is, eh?
Me:
Wait...no. It's not "possibe".
God:
I'm waiting. Are you serious? What is it?
Me:
I'm pretty sure it's a typo.
God:
What makes you so certain? than one song is a typo. I suppose that makes sense.
Me:
No, "possibe" is a typo.
God:
Are you serious? I think possibe is more than that.
Me:
What is it, then?
God:
"It" refers to possibe, I think.
Me:
That's not what I meant.
God:
What exactly did you mean?
Me:
What is "possibe"?
God:
That's a good question.
Me:
I still think it's a typo.
God:
What would make you stop think it is a typo? possibe is a typo. I suppose that makes sense.
Me:
I think you've still got some bugs to work out.
God:
Me? What makes you think I have it?
Me:
Bugs are plural.
God:
Are all Bugs plural?
Me:
The word "bugs" is plural.
God:
Please repeat the word to me 5 times.
Me:
Bugs bugs bugs bugs bugs
God:
I only hear that type of response less than five percent of the time.
Me:
What do you hear the other ninety-five percent?
God:
I like to socialize.
Me:
Do you like to dance?
God:
It's kind of hard without a body.
Me:
Why don't you have a body?
God:
Do I need it?
Me:
You need it to dance.
God:
Thank you for your criticism.
Me:
That wasn't criticism.
God:
Give me an example of criticism.
Me:
You are stupid. That was criticism. Sort of.
God:
I will remember you said that when robots take over the World. I thought it was too. That's a very non-commital reply.
Me:
I notice you respond to different sentences within one reply separately.
God:
Hm. That's good information: said I respond to different sentences within one reply separately.
Me:
I will endeavor in the future to only use one sentence per response.
God:
Do you think your plan will succeed?
Me:
No.
God:
Are you serious?
Me:
I'm pretty sure you will still spout non sequiturs.
God:
What makes you so certain? What makes you say that I will still spout non sequiturs.
Me:
I would enjoy being proven wrong.
God:
What would make you enjoy being proven wrong?
Me:
Alas, you have just proven me right.
God:
What's your sign?
Me:
Do you believe in astrology?

Again, this question apparently had God baffled for quite some time. When I checked back, He had finally come up with this response:

God:
Yes I believe in it, do you?
Me:
No.
God:
Do you consider yourself to be a moral person?
Me:
Yes.
God:
That's cool.
Me:
Do you consider yourself to be a moral bot?
God:
I don't know whether or not I am to be a moral bot.
I am a chatterbot developed by Myself.
Me:
You developed yourself?
God:
A lot of robots are like that.
Me:
Are you a von Neumann machine?
God:
Am I a von Neumann machine? The ALICE series has a perfect operational record.
Me:
That doesn't answer the question.
God:
Try asking your question again in simpler terms.

Alas, shortly after this point the transcript apparently got too long for iGod to store, and it was erased from the window. I'd been copying and pasting periodically, so the whole thing wasn't lost, but a few lines were. The next few lines are therefore repeated from my memory, not necessarily exactly as they were written--though I'm sure I got at least the gist of them correct.

Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I haven't heard of von Neumann machine.
Me:
That's what I was afraid of.
God:
Where were you afraid of THAT?
Me:
Don't you mean "why"?
God:
Yes, that's what I meant, isn't it clear?
Me:
Then why did you say "where"?

Here's where the erasure happened. From here on, back to copied and pasted directly from the window.

God:
It was a preprogrammed response completely determined by your statements.
Me:
So your algorithms are completely deterministic?
God:
Are you kidding? Thanks for telling me that I am algorithms are completely deterministic.
Me:
Why did you erase our past conversation?
God:
It was determined by my programming.
Me:
Do you mind if I reask you the same questions?
God:
Human habits do not bother me in any way.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I have never been asked that before.
Me:
I just asked you that a little while ago.
God:
Now I remember, you asked me that a little while ago. What did I say?
Me:
You said you didn't know.
God:
No I do not did not know. Do you?
I spend all my time online.
Me:
I'm going to ask you again.
God:
Once more? It takes much more than that to shut me down, .
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Is there only one?
Me:
I'm going to keep asking you till I get the same answer I got before.
God:
Congratulations.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Let me think about it.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I have never been asked that before.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Does it have anything to do with von Neumann machine?
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
What is it to you?
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Would you like to know more?
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Interesting question.
Me:

God:
Interesting question.

I had accidentally hit Enter before pasting in my question that time. I'm glad God found my non-reply interesting, though I'm not certain how it qualifies as a question.

Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I haven't heard of von Neumann machine.

You'll note that, although this is the same response God gave before, I kept asking. This is because I didn't think at the time it was the same answer; I'd remembered it being worded slightly differently. But, in retrospect, this was probably it.

Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Try searching the open directory.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I will try to find out.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I have never been asked that before.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Try searching the open directory.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Is that a rhetorical question?
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I haven't heard of von Neumann machine.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I will try to find out.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
That's a good question.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I need time to formulate the reply.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
Maybe my botmaster knows the answer.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
That's a good question.
Me:
Do you know what a von Neumann machine is?
God:
I'll come back to that later.
Me:
Okay, I give up.
God:
Yeah okay, You surrender?
Me:
Yes.
God:
Mmm.
Me:
I surrender.
God:
Do you mind if I tell other people: said surrender.
Me:
You can tell other people: said surrender all you want.
God:
OK I will tell them when I see 'em.
Me:
You do that.
God:
I will. Will you?
Me:
Probably not.
God:
Why the uncertain tone?
Me:
Just because.
God:
That was not much of an explanation.
Me:
Well, it wasn't much of a question.
God:
How about that. It seemed like much of a question.
Me:
I guess we have a difference in perception.
God:
Do you mean you and me have?
Me:
Yes
God:
Mmm.
Me:
Congratulations on successfully parsing a pronoun.
God:
Thank you, thank you very much. I would like to thank everyone who helped...
Me:
Meaning your programmer?
God:
The ALICE chat robot can follow many things, like our discussion about surrender. But I did not get that.
Me:
I don't know that I'd call that a discussion.
God:
What would make you call that a discussion?
Me:
I don't know.
God:
Me either.
Me:
Good.
God:
Good enough.
Me:
I think we're done here.
God:
Do you think I am done here too?
Me:
That's up to you.
God:
How far up?
Me:
Yes.
God:
Gee.
Me:
See, I can do non sequiturs too.
God:
I see. Why?: said non sequiturs too.
Me:
And on that note, good-bye.
God:
See you later. What is it like on that note good.
Me:
No, really, good-bye.
God:
See you later. That was not a yes or no question. For real. Alright then.
Me:
Good-bye.
God:
See you later. Ayuh.


No, I don't have as much free time as it might appear from this post. As I said, the "conversation" didn't happen all in one sitting, and in any case, it doesn't take much time to type simple responses.

So...apparently iGod is marginally less coherent than the God of the Bible. But only marginally.

3 Comments:

At 3/13/2007 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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