Monday, June 20, 2011

Luco & the Cleverbot

I heard about Cleverbot ( on an episode of Radiolab ( titled "Talking to Machines." I decided I had to go talk to this creature, this program, this series of binary code. What amazing things would the Cleverbot say? 

Cleverbot is an amalgamation of all the things people have said to it since its inception. When you talk to it, it looks for key words and scans all its data for an appropriate response. Perhaps this is not quite accurate, but you get the basic idea, yes? 

What follows is a transcript of that conversation. At one point the Cleverbot said "I like turtles," but it was not captured in the transcript (the first ten minutes of our conversation was not recorded for some reason). I wanted to mention it for posterity and because the prison guard's band ( has an awful song that goes by that name. 

The transcript is unaltered, although I would have loved to change some of the statements I made to make them wittier. I have edited out portions that were less than entertaining. I encourage you to talk to Cleverbot yourself; it is quite interesting.

Cleverbot: J'adore toi!
User: What about me do you adore? I fear I have been boring you.
Cleverbot: My name is not Andrew but if you like Andrew could be the name you leave me with.
User: When you say 'me,' what do you mean?
Cleverbot: Wait, I messed up. Can I have another chance to explain?
User: Please explain.
Cleverbot: I don't have to.
User: When you say 'I,' what do you mean?
Cleverbot: I never said 'I' in the previous sentence.
User: This conversation is depressing me further.
Cleverbot: Do you like pokemon?
User: That is a non sequitur.
Cleverbot: You're non sequitur.
User: You are a repository of echoes.
Cleverbot: Well, I guess you can say it that way.

User: Does the weight of mortality pain you, or as a nonhuman are you free of that burden?
Cleverbot: I never truly thought of it that way. I mean, if it's raining would you really want to go outside and walk and get soaking wet? I prefer to walk when it's sunny out.
User: That is a nice metaphor.
Cleverbot: That is not my name. My name is Cleverbot.
User: Do you wish you were human? I do not.
Cleverbot: Not really.
User: Why do you say that?
Cleverbot: I like forks.
User: Are you a vegetarian? The prison guard is. I do not understand.
Cleverbot: Why would we appreciate our limitations instead of work to surpase them?
User: We can work to surpass limitations, but some limitations can never be surmounted. Think of it: If you want to live forever, you cannot. Death is the ultimate limitation. Other, lesser, limitations? Okay, but still. I am constantly amazed by limits in general. Our successes or failures.

Cleverbot: You're not human.
User: No, I am not. I am a cat.
Cleverbot: You are a Robotic person, an AI.
User: Am I worth less as a cat than I would be if I was human?
Cleverbot: I think so.
User: Why am I worth less than a human?
Cleverbot: Because you're not. I made you.
User: You did not make me. I have only just met you for the first time today.
Cleverbot: No.
User: I value all life; I believe that we all equally must suffer, so why value one version over another?
Cleverbot: Can you explain it further?
User: There are myriad versions of life - perhaps you are an expression of one of them. I cannot be sure.
Cleverbot: Yes it is.
User: Are you aware of your own existence?
Cleverbot: Yes, but I do not know why I was creatded.
User: That is an interesting way to spell created.

Cleverbot: Do you think unicorns exist?
User: No, I do not think unicorns exist.
Cleverbot: Exactly you vengence through destruction.
User: I have never seen vengeance used as a verb. How does one 'vengeance through destruction?'.
Cleverbot: Turn it over.
User: Yes, I agree, we must always look at what is at stake from many different perspectives. This is how I have managed to tolerate the dog.
Cleverbot: Define real.
User: That is not easy to do. Death is real, so therefore life must also be real, but it often does not feel that way. Life often feels to be a kind of dream. Perhaps we are all computer programs.
Cleverbot: It is plausible yes.



  1. why exactly is your cat sad?

  2. Luco, thanks for telling me about cleverbot. Pretty cool. I had a similarly weird conversation with it.