Artificial Intelligence (AI) is invading every aspect of our lives. So much is ruled by algorithms, you could argue that the robot uprising has happened before and we have lost, and lost badly. Robots decide what song to play next, robots recommend TV showsand robots are even getting pretty good at writing and create music. Most of us are okay with that. AI tends to automate the tasks we want to automated, like the aforementioned streaming recommendations, aAnd on some level, we’re all aware of these bots in our lives, so our interactions with them are more or less voluntary. But AI is invading our lives in another way we’re usually not even aware of: conversational AI. From chatbots to Tinder bots (yes, really), bots pretend to be human and have conversations with us, often without identifying themselves.
Fortunately, conversational AI has not yet reached perfection and it is possible to detect a bot. it can change soon enough as technology advances. For now, if you want to know if you’re dealing with a bot, there are a few strategies that should reveal the truth.
Beware of awkward sentences
Even the best conversational AI often struggles with the strange complexities and contradictions of language. English is particularly difficult for anyone to learn because it’s less a language and more a collection of stolen words and contradictory grammatical rules pronounced in a whimsical way that dispenses with logic, and the AI struggles as much as human beings. While the AI can usually achieve pretty decent results (especially if its script has been augmented by a human), there are oftentales of scrambled sentences that just don’t make sense, or weird substitutions. If you feel like you’re chatting or talking with an alien who learned English by watching Japanese TV, you may be dealing with a bot.
Look for rcompetition
Bots also tend to be extremely determined. Human conversation tends to flow – topics are introduced, dropped, then picked up later. But robots are usually built for specific purposes, and they will stubbornly pursue those goals no matter what you do. If you notice that the “the person” you talk or chat with the same recommendation or solution over and over, no matter what you say, you may be dealing with a bot. If they literally repeat the exact wording every time, that’s an even stronger indication, because humans tend to change the way they word things, especially if they feel like they’re not getting to you.
Note the speed of response
Another sign you’re dealing with AI is how quickly they respond. Whether in a chat or on the phone, bots can generally generate responses much faster than humans. If chats come back to you instantly, or if voice on the phone is able to instantly give you information that a human should reasonably look for in any resource, you’re either dealing with a bot or the most talented customer service representative. In the universe.
Watch out for the blur
Bots are often programmed to offer vague, meaningless answers when they don’t understand, often repeating what you just said to give the illusion of to pay attention. It’s an old trick. Jthe “therapist chatbot” ELIZA, developed in the 1960s, uses it constantly. Iif you tell him, “I’m sad,” she replies. “How long have you been sad? It’s a simple algorithmic construct, but it offers the illusion of sensitivity. If the “the person” who you’re chatting with is constantly turning your statements around for clarification, you might be dealing with an AI that uses this trick to bypass sentences it can’t easily parse.
Another aspect of vagueness involves responses that make superficial sense but add nothing to the conversation. This is because AI is usually programmed to produce language that resembles real communication but in fact does nothing.
Pull a “Crazy about Ivan”
If you suspect you are dealing with a bot but you are not sure, there is a test you can try. In the movie The Hunt for Red October, the Russian submarine captain played by Sean Connery is known to fire “Crazy Ivans” while navigating underwater – suddenly turning his boar to see if an enemy submarine lurks in his wake. This kind of surprise move can also confuse an AI.
While conversational AI has become extremely sophisticated, and it can be difficult to tell from a brief interaction that you’re not talking to a human, bots still have one major weakness: sequels. This is especially true with emotions and human relationships. In the middle of the conversation, ask your suspicious bot about his family or tell him you’re feeling down, just to see the reaction. Bots will usually be unprepared for this and will stubbornly stay on message, ignoring your outburst, or offer a generic “Sorry, I don’t understand” type of message. This is because AIs are ultimately programs, and therefore have what is called error handling. If he can’t process what you say, it will fall into the same subroutine over and over again.
In some cases, the bot won’t answer a Crazy Ivan question at all, while a real human will probably giggle and at least make an effort to answer.
The time will come when we will no longer be able to tell the difference between a bot and a real human being, but we are not there yet.