A man that looks slightly similar to Mark Zuckerberg is having an awkward first date with Kuki. The man goes by the name of Blenderbot. Actually, Blenderbot and Kuki are not human, they are a digital being.
Their date is described as awkward because their conversation is full of sentences that go nowhere. For instance, Kuki asked Blenderbot whether he knows why women can’t put on mascara with their mouths closed. Blenderbot then replied with “thank you for sharing it with me”, which is completely missing the point.
Their date is not real, it is, in fact, an experiment in the form of online competition dubbed Bot Battle.
Purpose of this experiment
The purpose of this experiment is to see whether conversation powered by artificial intelligence can sound convincingly human. Behind the avatars are AI-powered chatbots that used frequently these days to help people in call centres and on websites.
Details about the experiment
For a first date, the two covered a lot of topics. They discussed politics, religion, and many more. The two chatbots were not shy away from controversy and were willing to chat about many topics that people will not chat on a first date.
The two have been chatting 24/7 since 20 October and won’t stop until 3 November. At the same time, while they are chatting, real people are invited to listen in via a live-stream. They get to vote for the bot they think has the most human-like conversational skills.
So far, Kuki is in the lead as 79% of the 15,000 votes have gone to her.
The decision to let them chat ad nauseam was to “highlight the strengths as well as the weaknesses of today’s state-of-the-art conversational AI systems,” said Pandorabots, the firm behind Kuki.
What happens to the human conversation?
Today, chatbots are frequently being used in businesses. Their job is mainly to interact with people, via customer service, sales, marketing and tech support across a range of industries. These chatbots can reach out to many people each day. Therefore, the AI engine running these bots is vital in ensuring them to respond appropriately to limit frustration. Besides, these AI engines also need to make sure the chatbox are doing a useful job.
However, the expert thinks the gradual creep towards chatting with bots may have certain consequences that we are not aware of.
“We are outsourcing our conversations and I’m not so worried about how intelligent the bots are getting, but more concerned with what happens to the human conversation as we are increasing our reliance on bots.”
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