What Goes Around, Comes Around

Wednesday, April 12, 2006, at 01:29PM

By Eric Richardson

Someone just used an IM bot to message me. It looks to have been seeded with one bit of seemingly sentient information (the initial message mentioned that I was getting married), and then the bot took over from there. The person who sends the bot gets to sit back, watch the traffic, and hopefully laugh as they trick someone into thinking they're speaking to a real person.

I don't know who sent it, so I'm not sure whether or not that person realized I wrote a bot to do the exact same thing. And I did it back in December of 1999. HoserAIMa spoke via Net::AIM and backended to Eliza. I had a console where I could inject messages into the conversations I was watching to pull people back right when they were starting to get frustrated enough to give up on the bot (or had started to see through its ruse).

Nice to know that in six years nothing has changed.

And if you were wondering, I was pretty sure from the conversation's second line that it was a bot. Googling for one line confirmed it.