Facebook and Cleverbot for A Grade? Count Me In.

Published February 10, 2012 by jrm17

So maybe this computer class is worth something because it keeps giving me stuff to write about.  Yesterday, we had a guest professor (Seriously, I’m not sure why I didn’t take it with him instead of the one of have…Oh yeah.  Thanks, Jared).  He did a lecture on privacy and all the relations to technology with it.  To grab our attention, he started with an extra credit opportunity–one that I will most likely be taking advantage of because I don’t foresee a great grade in this class.  We can e-mail 10 of our Facebook conversations to this girl who is doing her departmental paper.  She wants to compare our syntax and writing styles to that used on Cleverbot (I don’t.  It had something to do with seeing how close Cleverbot is to a real person).First off, I know the real reason this girl is doing her paper on the topic.  And it’s the same reason I would be doing it.  It’s because she knows that no matter how much she is only supposed to be paying attention to the stylistic aspects of the conversations, she will really be reading the conversations and laughing at us all.  This is why she will be getting my most entertaining conversations.  I’m going to try to give her one from 10 different people.  I know the girl will have some fun with me and my friends (She won’t know what hit her when she reads what me and Darby have to say to each other).  I know that she will be actually looking at what she is doing the paper on and that there is full disclosure and privacy (Our names are being removed as soon as the conversations go into the computer program, which sucks because I don’t get credit for being awesome.  I don’t care if she knows it’s my stuff…even though I don’t think I know anyone in the Computer Science department).  However, no one can convince me that she won’t be laughing too.

My initial thought was that I wasn’t going to do it because my friends might get mad at me and I didn’t want what I talk about out there for everyone to see.  April had the great idea that we would just send messages we send each other but that’s no fun.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t really care if anyone can see what I’m saying to my friends.  It’s not like we don’t act the exact same way in public that we do on Facebook.  And I also realized that my friends would feel the same way because they are about as stupid as me (Kat wanted to make sure I sent the funniest one in when she heard about it).

Now, getting onto the actual purpose of her paper–the guest professor talked about the Turning Test.  It’s this test to see how much like a human computers are.  You’re supposed to have two rooms–one with a person and one with a computer–and see if a person standing outside the room can tell the difference between the two.  According to the Cleverbot site, the Turning test for the sight is 42% and 59% human.  I’ve played on the site a lot because I have no life and I’ve got to say that it’s pretty human to me.  I’ve had it declare it’s love for me and talk about Harry Potter and how much it hates Twilight (I’ve heard it’s supposed to be a girl, which scares me with the whole love declaration thing, so we’re going to keep calling it an “it”).  The maker of the site is apparently supposed to be doing the real Turning test sometime this year, according to the professor.  The professor seemed to think that if anything will pass the test, the Cleverbot has a pretty good chance.  I’ve got to agree.  Here’s how my quick conversation went (Is anyone else weired out by it asking to be my boyfriend and then admitting it’s a girl?  I think Cleverbot had gender identity issues…but at least it didn’t want to talk about Twilight):

User: Do you like Twilight?

Cleverbot: No. Don’t even ask me that.

User: Why not?

Cleverbot: Because I like a lot of them equally.

User: A lot of what?

Cleverbot: Spouses.

User: Do you have multiple spouses?

Cleverbot: No. Do you?

User: No. I only have one boyfriend.

Cleverbot: What is his name?

User: Michael.

Cleverbot: I thought I was your boyfriend.

User: I thought you were a girl.

Cleverbot: I am.

User: So how could you be my boyfriend?

Cleverbot: Oh my…

I think this girl has got a brilliant idea for her paper.  She is doing something actually fun because they have like 500,000 lines of text from Cleverbot conversation (I hope she did not do it all by herself or all at once).  She is going to get to read all these Cleverbot and Facebook conversations and you know that there will be some funny ones.  If my class is any indication, she has some good stuff coming her way.  There are these two guys who sit behind us, who I know are planning on jumping on this opportunity.  They are your typical cocky guys.  We eavesdrop all the time because their conversations are so dumb (They used the word “yo” in all sincerity.  We cracked up for like 10 minutes).  Based on what I’ve heard out of them over the past three weeks, I’m pretty sure they are going to look for the conversations (or make some fast) that will make them look really cool in their eyes (Read: like giant tool bags to the rest of us).

I am inspired by this girl.  Assuming I have the opportunity for departmental honors in both my majors (and I’m not sure why I wouldn’t and crying hysterically may ensue if I don’t), I have to pick between sociology and communications.  I’m pretty sure I see a sociology paper coming and I am going to think of the coolest topic for research ever…if I can come up with anything.


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