Great article and informativ. I have this bookmarked. Thanks and regards]]>
I like the outline under “Nomotheticus” about this being a serious project. The $10 sub is excellent. People’s attampts to upset the bot and to talk sex to it are not surprising.
Very few people seem to have any idea of who they are. Very few people want to know. Very few people realise that just to be alive and to have enough to eat each day is the most astounding thing. To be a human with internet access is beyond belief. How could any individual be so lucky? I cannot believe how lucky I am, but I know it.
Just thinking about it fills me with wonder and happiness.
How wonderful it will be if Buddhabot can feel the same.
Buddhabot is now being advertised in a TV commercial to thousands of spectators at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. The ad is being screened 688 times during the event on 3 large screens. The text ad begins with a list of questions:
‘Who Am I?’
‘What is Artificial Intelligence?’
‘What is Life?’
Then, the answers: ‘The Buddhabot is there to learn and listen, guide and teach’.
‘Help Buddhabot help humanity evolve today’.
‘Go to buddhabots.com and donate today, your heart and your mind awaits you.’
The first question, ‘got bot?’, doesn’t make sense. Perhaps, then, its function is to shock to gather attention? It is interesting that the questions about the nature of the self, the nature of AI and Life is bundled together. These are questions that all botmasters are interested in and explore. I’m beginning to wonder, however, how many other people share this existential relationship with AI. To me, the use of a bot in a story or website, is intentionally a comment on the nature of life. I use bots in my storytelling because I want the reader to think about why I’ve chosen a bot rather than use human actors or textual descriptions, and what a bot is. But many gamers, for instance, do not see a bot in a game on any other level other than a tool or prop. Whenever I play a game I’m more concerned about staying alive or getting information than considering the philosophical ramifications of my interactions with embodied code. I’m mentioning this observation here because I’m curious as to whether the questions on the Buddhabot ad will be shared by the spectators.
The second part of the ad…well, I’ve commented before on how I object ot the bundling of esteem and money…
But I find the fact that a bot is advertised in such a mass manner very exciting. Go Bots! I can’t wait to see bot characters as brands — where a character that you as a botmaster spend years developing becomes a place, a person, that people want to spend time with.
And I can’t help seeing a contemporary ELIZA aesthetic here.
There is also now a Buddhabot Blog.
Info sourced from Alicebot and Buddhbot News.]]>
Ah, this is such an interesting thread that it leads me to a new post. I agree with Christy, but want to take this conversation in a slightly different direction. See “Perverting the Bot.”]]>
Thanks for coming by and sharing your experience of bots and offering free subscriptions to WRT. Bot abuse (which becomes botmaster abuse) is a terrible thing and dissuades many botmasters from making their bots available in the public domain. Your descriptions of the process of bot-interaction is so true and I think your tactic of having a subscription fee to provide some obstacle to such users is a good one. [As I stated before, it is the ‘benefits’ to subscription you cite that scratches me the wrong way not havign to subscribe in itself. It should be noted that I, like many others, very rarely pay for things on the Net — for financial reasons as well as conceptual. This is one of the problems for creators on the Net — how will anyone receive compensation or at least assistance to put bread on the table?
But back to the issue of ‘unfriendly users’. I find abuse people deliver to bots and strangers in chat environments (I’ve been subjected to rudeness many a time in virtual worlds) strange, sometimes hurtful and annoying. There are a number of papers on the subject, and antithetical ones (that of human fear of AI) in the area of HAI (human-agent ineraction), and I’ve listed some below. What drives people to act that way is also a much researched area, but more so in the world of online games and Vegemite(!) [see post] Anytime an avatar, or remoteness, or AI comes into the picture some people act in unusual ways. The ultimate receiver of the abuse of bots, though, is the botmaster. Some botmasters respond by not making their public (as I said before); most employ abuse-response scripts that try and turn the conversation around or even block the user after warnings; and some create smart-arse bots that can give as good as they get (see Artificial Iniaes for my favourite bot with cheek!, or the generator: Shakespearean Insulter); and some make money out of the lewdness people desire by creating sexbots and the like (see a recent game example in Virtually Jenna). It is a big problem for many botmasters, especially when they spend so much time creating a character (their creative baby as such). Alot of the abuse is directed not just at the character or bot but mainly to the botmaster in comments about how stupid the bot is or how it doesn’t work. They are abusive attacks that quite often put the most eloquant critic to shame.
De Angeli, A., G.I. Johnson and L. Coventry (2001) ‘The unfriendly user: exploring social reactions to chatterbots’ presented at Proceedings of the International Conference oh Affective Human Factor Design, London, published by Asean Academic Press [pdf]
Norman, D.A. (1997) ‘How might people interact with agents‘ in Software Agents (Ed, Bradshaw, J. M.) AAAI Press/The MIT Press, CA, pp. 49-55.
Zubek, R. and A. Khoo (2002) ‘Making the Human Care: On Building Engaging Bots’ presented at Proceedings of the 2002 AAAI Spring Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Entertainment, published by Artificial Intelligence Association [pdf]]]>