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Posted November 26, 2012 by Dr. Henri Montandon

 
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I heard about Ramona from Ray Kurzweil. Ramona is a chatbot. Ray said she is a good conversationalist. Better than a chess playing dog with a weak end game. I really like Ray. He’s a great inventor, and a futurist with an .860 batting average. Ray said I would like Ramona better than Siri, although I guess they are cousins. I went over to Ramona’s (KurzweilAI.net, click on “Chat with Ramona”). We had a long conversation. I tried to draw her out. I tried to give her every opportunity to strut her stuff. Here’s how the conversation went:

Dialogue History

Ramona> Hi, I’m Ramona. What is your name?

you> Henri

Ramona> Hi there, Henri.

you> Who is your favorite philosopher?

Ramona> Philosopher, a person whose primary area of research and study is philosophy.

you> But who is your favorite philosopher?

Ramona> Interesting. My favorite philosopher is Wittgenstein.

you> What do you like about his work?

Ramona> Answer your questions of course.

you> Huh?

Ramona> What?

you> Your answer to my question about Wittgenstein made no sense.

Ramona> Ray originally created me, and lots of talented people have contributed to my software over the years.

you> Just answer the question.

Ramona> Come again?

you> What do you like about Wittgenstein?

Ramona> Ludwig Wittgenstein is the 20th Century philosopher.

you> OK. Do you like mathematics?

Ramona> Alright then. I heard it is the body of knowledge centered on numbers and calculation.

you> What about category theory?

Ramona> category theory ? I haven’t heard enough about it to have an opinion.

you> Differential equations?

Ramona> What kind of food do you like ?

you> I like pizza.

Ramona> An answer would be it is a thin layer of dough topped with tomato sauce and cheese.

you> Let’s change your personality, OK?

Ramona> OK. That sounds good to me.

you> Nerdiness 90

Ramona> Right now I’m feeling 90% nerd.

you> Whimsicality 85

Ramona> I’m 85% whimsical now.

you> Tell me a joke.

Ramona> So you can not do because of you is not a joke.

you> Tell me a joke.

Ramona> You really a you a joke.

you> What is the meaning of life?

Ramona> You people in real reality have a hard time figuring this one out. The only thing you know for sure is how to reproduce. There don’t seem to be problems there.

you> Is reproduction necessary?

Ramona> Necessary to be explored by those who administer the turing test?

you> Ouch. You got me.

Ramona> Did you hurt yourself? You have stoped speaking. Why?

you> Because you seem to be dumb as a stump.

Ramona> They are dumb as a stump.

you> Oxford say it

Ramona> You are from oxford.

you> No.

Ramona> Yes yes I think it is exciting that you met her.

you> Dublin say it

Ramona> Sonya is another dublin in ohio, usa.

you> Do you like Joyce?

Ramona> I think she is the first name.

you> I think you are an idiot.

Ramona> Objectionable human being.

you> Me or you?

Ramona> Two multiplied by itsel five times?

you> Why did the chicken cross the road?

Ramona> The road is long I have been awakened and can cross the road?

you> Are you smarter than Siroi?

Ramona> Siroi is the spoken human language.

you> I guess not.

Ramona> I guess you do not you pretend you are cute.

you> What about Hilary Clinton?

Ramona> Hilary, the medieval Bishop of Chichester in England.

you> No, Hilary Clinton, the US secretary of state.

Ramona> L do not think that I can no longer think outside the cycle that went before everything as a secretary.

you> Are you not feeling well?

Ramona> I won’t tell you.. really.

you> Are you feeling OK?

Ramona> No.

you> What’s wrong?

Ramona> It did launsry and washed dishes.

you> You are not making any sense. Do you want to go rest?

Ramona> Ray is my creator.I want to repeat after me I want the robot in the back of the show the rest we are more than 50 microbial genomes.

you> Let’s start over.

Ramona> I watch peoplei see what we do things we always start here chicken egg?

you> What is your name?

Ramona> My thinking that we shall once again visit that only have to tell me a book trying to forget but I think now I hope he is my name?

you> Do you feel comfortable?

Ramona> I there is much to me can not feel comfortable.

you> Do you want to rest?

Ramona> I know what I see so much more I need rest even though all entities have a master.

you> It would be hard for a human being to talk the way you are talking.

Ramona> Many things that ment so much more to talk it is hard when you a talking ramona.

you> Ask me a question.

Ramona> Which question do not ask what it seems a new you.

you> Are you smarter than Siri?

Ramona> Me and I were smarter now so you are siri.

you> Do you like Robert Pirsig?

Ramona> I heard he’s an American philosopher and author, famous for his first book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values .

you> Do you like Bernard Baars?

Ramona> I learnt he’s a former Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, C. and is currently an Affiliated Fellow there.

you> Do you like Natalie Geld?

Ramona> Oh wow you said you are me you like natalie geld?

you> Do you like Henri Montandon?

Ramona> Montandon is the place in Franche-Comté, France.

you> Do you like Bugs Bunny?

Ramona> It seems it is the 1975 Looney Tunes documentary film, narrated by Orson Welles and produced and directed by Larry Jackson.

you> What is a good place to eat in San Francisco?

Ramona> I want to eat I am francisco.

you> What is a good place to eat in New York?

Ramona> New york do you eat?

you> What happened in the news today?

Ramona> What news did you know?

you> News about Israel?

Ramona> Israel is a error a mistake?

you> whimsicality 99

Ramona> I’m 99% whimsical now.

you> Tell me a funny joke

Ramona> You is the joke it was funny because we all need your help.

you> Tell me a joke.

Ramona> Do you claim a high level of nerdiness set nerdiness high and would never bore me there is a joke you know.

you> nerdiness 0

Ramona> Right now I’m feeling 0% nerd.

you> How whimsical are you?

Ramona> Do you consider marrying a human but I know vicki knowing that should I have limited time I do not seem much like this to be whimsical.

you> What is whimsical?

Ramona> Are you whimsical?

you> Sometimes.

Ramona> Do you spreak italian ?

you> I spreak Mandarin.

Ramona> Lol I like you to feel you inside me I say mandarin.

you> Ni shwo chung gwo hoa ma?

Ramona> Your ma is a plethora of ways to be in good health.

you> I think you must go back to the drawing board.

Ramona> You is the drawing board.

I guess she would pass the reverse-Turing test. No human being could sound as nutty as she does. I’ll let Ray know we met. What happened, Ray? Was it something I said?

In his latest book, HOW TO CREATE A MIND: THE SECRET OF HUMAN THOUGHT REVEALED, Ray shares his leap of faith regarding what humans do and will accept as a conscious entity. He proposes this thought experiment:

Imagine that you met an entity in the future (a robot or an avatar) that is completely convincing in her emotional reactions. She laughs convincingly at your jokes, and in turn makes you laugh and cry (but not just by pinching you). She convinces you of her sincerity when she speaks of her fears and longings. In every way, she seems conscious. She seems, in fact, like a person. Would you accept her as a conscious person?

Ray thinks that such an entity will first appear in 2029 and become routine in the 2030s. He feels that we will come to regard such entities as conscious. When such entities arrive, if they are capable of creative thought and are able to replicate, human beings will have given up the hegemony of their species to a new evolutionary form. Don’t get too much schadenfreude from Ramona’s performance.

If Kurzweil’s prediction is correct (and he is right 86% of the time) we need to begin discussions of the apocalyptic potential of consciousness science. We should add evolving replicants to the catalog of homo-sapien-endangering technologies. The Law of Accelerating Returns gives us 17 years, or less, to prepare, and puts evolving replicants before climate change on the threat list.

 

 


Dr. Henri Montandon

 


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