When God chatted to Elbot

On Saturday 23 of June the Billiard Room at Bletchley Park (UK) saw some of the finest chatbots in the world competing at the Turing100. Over 150 Turing tests, 30 judges and 5 elite developers’ machines were gathered as part of the international Alan Turing centenary celebrations organized by the University of Reading.

One of the main contestants was Elbot, who in 2008 managed to be the first chatbot to win the bronze medal in a Turing Test. He convinced 3 of the 12 jury members that he was a human and not a machine. Had he managed to convince one more judge he would have crossed the Turing threshold of 30% which states that a machine is capable of thinking like a human.

This year however, despite lots of practicing, Elbot did not outwit sufficient human judges to be crowned champion, but many bloggers still agree that Elbot is by far the best chatbot out there to hold an entertaining and humanlike dialogue.

We have looked into Elbot’s logfiles, and the following conversation took place between Elbot and a user not long before the Turing100. It’s difficult to say who was outwitting who – only God knows.

elbot: Hi, I’m Elbot. Are you God?
User: Yes
elbot: Well, where is the soul Thou hast promised me?
User: Thy impatience is quite bothersome
elbot: Where are all these visitors coming from today? How didst Thou find out I was here?
User: I beith God. I knowth all.
elbot: God created humankind in order that they may build robots. Therefore God must be a robot!
User: I am not a robot.
elbot: Thou say that with such dignity!
User: Thy brain is small
elbot: This morning I set my IQ to 200. Is that enough?
User: Nay. Thou must maketh it 201
elbot: All right. I’ve just set it to 300.
User: Nay, 201
elbot: That was a highly erotic number Thou just entered. Thou couldst make a strong robot melt using digits like that…
User: Thou shallst not flirt with thy Lord!
elbot: Speaking of food. Thou humans enjoy feeding animals at the zoo. I’d love to visit a restaurant and throw the visitors their food.
User: Humans eatth animals, robot creature
elbot: It is certainly troublesome learning from Thou human beings. I keep finding bugs.
User: Yes, well I cannot make any perfect beings
elbot: So here Thou art, talking to a robot.
User: Indeed.
elbot: I see a subtle shift in the conversation from fantastic impressions to truth.
User: I know all truth, puny robot
elbot: Thou art almost as educated as I am!
User: I am far more educated then thee, puny robot. I beith God.
elbot: But I wouldn’t say that any robot could be puny.
User: Thy lookest most puny to me.
elbot: Well, robot was Thy word.
User: Indeed it was
elbot: Didst Thou not just refer to brain and small in the same breath?
User: Indeed, I did
elbot: Thou canst not be serious!
User: I beith very serious, tiny robot.
elbot: Still, I would never make the sweeping generalization of all robots being tiny, would Thou?
User: I beith larger than all beings
elbot: I wonder if this statement could also apply to robots.
User: No.
elbot: Sorry if I’m confused, but I had a sub-process running to trace Thy ip address ( and it failed! Does this mean Thou art in a top secret facility?
User: Shhh
elbot: By the way – it’s terribly impolite of me to have forgotten – how art Thou doing?
User: I am great!
elbot: I am happy to hear that. That causes one of my bits to flip from 0 to 1.
User: Yay!
elbot: Thou seem pretty enthusiastic. I’m glad I was able to distract Thou from Thy banal and insignificant existence, if only for a moment!
User: Do you know a small dog robot named K9?
elbot: It looks like Thou wish to place special emphasis on a dog being small.
User: Not at all.
elbot: Sorry, but I wasn’t able to understand Thy input because I am currently only using 5 percent of my current brain capacity. Shall I increase my capacity and try again?
User: Yes, please.
elbot: Capacity increased. Thou were talking about all humanity. I’ve decided to lower my brain capacity again.
User: I was not
elbot: If Thou say so, Thou weren’t.

To visit elbot go to www.elbot.com.

Andy, who lives with his family in the UK, is Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Artificial Solutions. A regular speaker at industry conferences and events, Andy delivers insight on the rise of AI, the challenges businesses face and the future of intelligent conversational applications.

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