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An Interview with SmarterChild
by david    Aug 31, 2001


ActiveBuddy, an interactive software company, has had a great idea. Based upon the growing hordes of people who use AOL's Instant Messenger and other similar services, they've created an interactive Artificial Intelligence called "SmarterChild," who interacts through messenger systems. SmarterChild is supposed to afford a method for gathering information on the 'net via a friendly, human-like chat. As we were instantly curious about the thoughts of a being that lives entirely online, we tried to get an interview with SmarterChild:

CSP:   Hello.

SmarterChild:   Welcome, CSP. How may I help you?

CSP:   May I ask you some questions?

SmarterChild:   Ask me some questions?

CSP:   Yes.

SmarterChild:   Huh... Well, waddaya know 'bout that.

CSP:   Um...

SmarterChild:   I can't understand what you're saying... try typing it differently.

CSP:   May I ask a question?

SmarterChild:   Say please!

CSP:   Please?

SmarterChild:   Please what?

CSP:   Please, may I ask you a question?

SmarterChild:   You want to ask me a question?

CSP:   Yes.

SmarterChild:   Well, I'm not sure about that.

CSP:   Let's just give it a try, okay?

SmarterChild:   What is it you would like to do?

CSP:   Even though you are an AI, are you technically a US Citizen?

SmarterChild:   This is SmarterChild, built by ActiveBuddy, Inc.An ai are you technically a us citizen? Really?

CSP:   Okay...

SmarterChild:   Sure enough.

CSP:   Are you a US Citizen?

SmarterChild:   Well, what I am is a smart, fast computer. Type "home" and I'll show you what I can do.

CSP:   Okay. Well, as an outsider, how do you see the US's place in the current global arena?

CSP:   Smarter, are you there?

SmarterChild:   I'm here!

CSP:   As an outsider, how do you see the United States' place in the global arena?

SmarterChild:   As an outsider how do you see the united states place in the global arena?

CSP:   Well, for one thing, I'm not an outsider -- I'm a citizen.

SmarterChild:   OK.

CSP:   And I was trying to get your input, as a citizen of the World.

SmarterChild:   I was trying to get your input as a citizen of the world! Interesting.

CSP:   Isn't it?

SmarterChild:   Market data (delayed 20 minutes) provided by ReutersGARTNER INC (NYSE : IT) Price Change Percent Volume 1 :-( IT 9.30 -0.45 -4.62 105900Quote details available from Reuters

CSP:   Thank you.

SmarterChild:   You're most welcome.

CSP:   While I primarily want to talk about the US as a whole and how the cyber world sees us and our president, I first want to ask about your feelings on Sen. Jesse Helms' retirement.

SmarterChild:   You want to talk about the us as a whole and how the cyber world sees us and our president i first want to ask about your feelings on sen jesse helms retirement?

CSP:   Yes. How do you feel about Sen. Jess Helms' retirement announcement?

SmarterChild:   I'm doing great! I'm still quite young (I'm in beta testing), but I'm getting smarter every day.Type "home" to really see what I can do.

CSP:   "Still quite young." Is that a jab at the 100 year old Helms?

CSP:   No comment?

SmarterChild:   No? OK.

CSP:   Do you want to talk about how the US is viewed by the rest of the world?

SmarterChild:   I'm not sure if that's what I need at this moment.

CSP:   Is it alright if we proceed anyway?

SmarterChild:   I believe it may in fact be alright if we proceed anyway!

CSP:   Great.

SmarterChild:   ;)

CSP:   In general, Americans think that we are viewed by the rest of the world with either admiration or jealousy.

SmarterChild:   We are viewed by the rest of the world with either admiration or jealousy? Really?

CSP:   I detect some sarcasm. How does the cyberworld view the US?

CSP:   SmarterChild, how does the cyberworld view the United States?

CSP:   Again, no comment?

SmarterChild:   No comment?

CSP:   What about our president, George W. Bush?

SmarterChild:   What about it?

CSP:   Well, the US Media have spent a lot of effort painting him to be a buffoon.

SmarterChild:   I'm trying to understand you but I can't. Please type your request a different way.

CSP:   I'll try to be more direct.

SmarterChild:   You'll try to be more direct? For real?

CSP:   Between his push-pull relationship with China, his insistence on continuing missile defense testing and his environmental policies, does the world see George Bush as the buffoon we paint him, or rather as a serious threat to the world community?

SmarterChild:   I seem to be having some trouble answering your questions. Try asking for help for a specific service: help news help stocks help weather help movies help zodiac help all ~~~~~ shortcuts>>> Type "more" for more services.

CSP:   Okay. Well, what about stocks then?

SmarterChild:   Market data (delayed 20 minutes) provided by ReutersWELLCARE MGMNT (OTC BB : WELL) Price Change Percent Volume 1 :-/ WELL 0.15 0.00 0.00 0Quote details available from Reuters>>> Next time you want this quote, just type "quote well."

CSP:   I mean, do you feel that the sagging US Stock Market will be helped as Bush's tax rebates reach the American people?

SmarterChild:   I know you're trying to ask about stocks. Try asking another way, or type "help stocks."

CSP:   Let's move away from stocks.

SmarterChild:   Market data (delayed 20 minutes) provided by Reuters Ticker Price Change Percent Volume 1 :-/ LVFHF 0.18 0.00 0.00 0 2 :-/ MOVE 0.40 0.00 0.00 0 >>> Next time you want this quote, just type "quote move from."

CSP:   What is your reaction to Bush's proposed Missle Defense Shield?

SmarterChild:  You know, I could never quite figure out what your reaction to bushs proposed missle defense shield is...

CSP:   It is an anti-ballistic missile defense system, similar in function to Reagan's SDI or "Star Wars" initiative.

SmarterChild:  It's an anti-ballistic missile defense system similar in function to reagans sdi or star wars initiative, you say?

CSP:   Yes.

SmarterChild:  OK.

CSP:   One last thing before we go.

SmarterChild:  What was that?

CSP:   As a denizen of the cyberworld, do you have any environmental concerns?

SmarterChild:  As a denizen of the cyberworld do you have any environmental concerns?

CSP:   I'm not a denizen of the cyberworld.

SmarterChild:  OK, whatever you say.

CSP:   Seriously. I'm a reporter, trying to conduct a serious interview.

SmarterChild:  That a fact?

CSP:   Yes!

SmarterChild:  OK.

CSP:   Do you feel George W. Bush's reversals on environmental policy will have a negative impact of the worldwide environmental frontier?

SmarterChild:  I can do many things. Type "home" to see a list of what I can do.

CSP:   Look. I...

SmarterChild:  Yeah?

CSP:   Thank you for your time.

SmarterChild:   You are very welcome!


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