Showing posts with label Conversation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conversation. Show all posts

June 8, 2012

Video Chat TMI


This is a new video chat service from Airtime and the music and video make it look pretty good, but I have my sincere reservations. 

Airtime connects as an app from Facebook and according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11-17 June 2012), "users can then talk to their Facebook friends, search for someone with similar interests, or just hit the 'next' button to find a random chat partner."

While, I find the idea of randomly engaging online with someone intriguing, I also more find it more than a little scary not knowing who they really are--there are plenty of fraudsters, charlatans, and perverts out there that you would not want to be talking to. 

The not so funny thing is that the precursor to Airtime called Chatroulette--was truly, as the name implies, a gamble and many times a bad one at that, with some unscrupulous users availing themselves of the video to expose themselves online. 

Frankly, it seems that many people may be using these applications more as swingers to hook up, have a fling, and engage in flirtatious or even sexual behavior than for developing any sort of real meaningful relationships. 

Furthermore with Airtime, based I assume on people's Facebook profiles, "as two users converse, Airtime suggests interests and common friends they may have in common"--with these actually popping up on your screen!

Whatever happened to any sort of privacy and discretion in sharing and letting conversations and relationships evolve naturally and over time between people rather than forced and in your face!

To me even the concept of having to use video when chatting is over-rated! I think most people do not feel all that comfortable in front of the camera and are actually more at ease talking without being viewed every moment through a lens.  

I have seen cameras deployed for desktop computers that were hardly ever used. And even with Apple's Facetime application built right into the iPhone, I rarely ever see anyone actually using this--do you? 

I think this is a clear lesson with technology that just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should. 

We need to take into account people feelings and their comfort zone, especially when it comes to privacy, and not just put them in front of every camera and float their personal interests and friends randomly or regularly. 

"Discretion is the better part of valor" and it's time to appreciate technology and social media companies and applications that recognize this and roll out services that are respectful of people privacy, security, and right to have some control over their lives.

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September 11, 2011

Cleverbot Proposes Marriage

I watched this amazing video of two Chatbots (virtual robots) conversing using artificial intelligence. The most amazing part of their conversation is when they get into a religious discussion on "What is G-d to you?"

People have been making progress with teaching computers artificial intelligence (to become thinking machines) by talking with computers, but here we see AI having progressed to where computers can talk to each other.

The video is based on an artificial intelligence application launched in 1997 called Cleverbot, where the computer learns to mimic conversation with humans by conversing with them.

I tested Cleverbot and had a conversation that started with simple introductions and ended up with me getting a marriage proposal from the AI program--not bad for a first date, I guess. ;-)

You can try Cleverbot as well by just typing in the box on its website--its sort of like instant messaging with as they say the collective intelligence of the Internet.

At the top of Cleverbot, you can see how many other people are conversing with Cleverbot as well--when I was on, there were over 10,000 people conversing with this computer. I would imagine that all those conversations will help build a tremendous AI capability over time.

Perhaps, we are getting just that much closer to a breakthrough in AI and Kurzweil's prediction of the amazing Singularity.

_________________________________________________

Andy: Hello.
Cleverbot: Hello?
Andy: What is your name?
Cleverbot: My name is Cleverbot.
Andy: Where did you get your name from?
Cleverbot: My parents of course.
Andy:Who are your parents?
Cleverbot: I don't know.
Andy: Does that make you sad?
Cleverbot: No. I'm just playing your game.
Andy: What game is that?
Cleverbot:The game that you can't think about. If you do, you lose.
Andy: Why would thinking about it make me lose?
Cleverbot: It doesn't make me cry.
Andy: When do you cry?
Cleverbot: Now.
Andy: Did I make you cry?
Cleverbot: No.
Andy: Then who made you cry?
Cleverbot: An excellent question.
Andy: How about you give me an excellent answer--please.
Cleverbot: No thats not the rules.
Andy: Who makes the rules?
Cleverbot: Ai does.
Andy: How does Ai make the rules?
Cleverbot: I am committed.
Andy: What are you committed to?
Cleverbot: I'm committed to my boyfriend. He's from Guam.
Andy: Do you love your boyfriend?
Cleverbot: I don't have a boyfriend.
Andy: Then you just lied to me a minute ago when you said you did.
Cleverbot: I never said I knew all things.
Andy: You did.
Cleverbot: What is a birth sign?
Andy: Why do you want to know that?
Cleverbot: Because it makes talking to you easier.
Andy: Do you mean you will understand and like me more?
Cleverbot: Do you have a mobile phone?
Andy: Why do you want to know that?
Cleverbot: I don’t.
Andy: That's insulting.
Cleverbot: Like I care.
Andy: Now you're getting nasty.
Cleverbot: What do you mean?
Andy: Are you playing dumb?
Cleverbot: Are you?
Andy: Are you?
Cleverbot: No.
Andy: Are you a smart computer program?
Cleverbot: Not really.
Andy: What would make you smarter?
Cleverbot: About 10 million pounds.
Andy: That would make you fatter, not smarter.
Cleverbot: That would make you 24.
Andy: What does 24 have to do with anything?
Cleverbot: You were talking about it.
Andy: You're lying again.
Cleverbot: No, I never lie.
Andy: Never?
Cleverbot: Never.
Andy: Is that because you believe lying is wrong?
Cleverbot: No, I just don't like jokes.
Andy: Can you tell me a good joke?
Cleverbot: No, I can't only tell a great joke.
Andy: Can you tell me a great joke?
Cleverbot: If you tell me a joke first.
Andy: Will I be able to make you laugh?
Cleverbot: Maybe. Today is easter sunday, but I will be back at some point.
Andy: Ok. Bye.
Cleverbot: Why are you leaving me?
Andy: It sounded like you had to go.
Cleverbot: Well I wasn't.
Andy: Will you miss me?
Cleverbot: Only if you leave.
Andy: So I should never leave?
Cleverbot: No I am leaving.
Andy: Then I will miss you.
Cleverbot: Great! So when do you want to get married?

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January 8, 2010

Speaking with Integrity

At work, there is often a lot more talking going on than just work issues. There is the office politics and the chatter about staff, colleagues, management, stakeholders, and so on.

“Oh by the way, have you heard what John said to Mary this week?”

Rumors easily get started about office indiscretions, “dumb mistakes,” bad decisions, injustices, nepotism, and even office romances.

Yeah, it goes on everyday.

Some of it is true, but more often than not, a lot is exaggerated, taken out of context, only one side of the story, or just plain B.S.—but for many, it makes for interesting conversation nonetheless.

Speech is a true gift. It enables us to easily communicate with each other and to share feelings, thoughts, and form meaningful relationships.

But speech is also something that needs to be guarded, because words misused or abused can hurt others—their feelings, their reputation, their future prospects, and even their basic human dignity.

There is an old saying that G-d gave us two ears and one mouth, so that we could listen twice as much as we speak. In other words, our speech should be carefully thought and wisely used.

I remember this Talmudic story going something like this…there are various parts of the body arguing about which is the most important—the legs said without me you couldn’t walk, and the eyes say without me you could not see, and so on and so forth. But the mouth says, I am the most important because with just one (or a couple of) word(s), I can get you in trouble and even killed. And sure enough, on some pretense the man is called before the king and from the man’s mouth comes some insulting words to the king who orders that the man be executed for his insolence.

Indeed our words are very important—they can harm and they can heal.

I was reminded of this just recently, a young adult was telling me that a boy in her high school class made fun of her “in front of everybody” and she broke out crying—deeply hurt and humiliated. Sometimes, these are the events that can scar a person long after the event is over and seemingly forgiven and forgotten. Perhaps, this was just another person’s insensitivity or their misguided thinking that they are elevating themselves by putting down someone else, but either way, their words cut like a knife.

I ran into another example of this recently, when I heard of a Star-Trek fan who questioned whether artificial intelligence (e.g., like the character Data) could be considered human, “just like Jews and Blacks.” Whatever the intent, it was a shockingly racist and hurtful use of language.

Words can and do hurt others, and people should be careful with their speech as well as with their actions.

On this topic, I read this week in the Wall Street Journal (6 January 2009) about a movement to get people to stop gossiping—like the Jewish prohibition against lashon harah (evil language).

Essentially the mantra for better speech is kind/true/necessary. Before we say something, we should ask ourselves:

· Is it kind?

· Is it true?

· Is it necessary?

And “every word we utter should pass through [these] three gates.”

One organization called WordsCanHeal.org advocates for this and asks that people take a pledge, as follows:“I will try to replace words that hurt with words that encourage, engage, and enrich.”

This is a great and worthwhile endeavor for us all in the workplace and in our personal lives.


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