Debunking Art - fraudster with python AI engine?

Steve Holden sholden at
Tue Aug 24 02:47:47 CEST 2004

Nick wrote:

> Hi,
> I recently went to an art exhibition, and one of the artists had an AI
> engine projected onto a screen with a keyboard for visitors to type
> questions in with.
> Curiously, I asked the artist if he had written the engine. He claimed
> to have, but as far as I know, he has done no AI study, and only
> started programming python some months ago.
> Naturally, I find it hard to believe he has picked up on natural
> language processing and the other various skills required to write AI
> engines in that time. My guess is he has a python AIML interpreter,
> and he's found a default "brain" somewhere and tweaked it with some of
> his own stuff in order to pass it off as his own.
> The engine could answer all the usual questions, like "what is the
> meaning of life" (42), "what is your name", "how old are you" etc etc.
> It was just a chatterbot, so ELIZA or a deriviative is marked off the
> list. I am guessing probably an ALICE engine is behind it all. Does
> anyone know any questions or commands one can issue the bot which
> might identify it? It required all questions to start with a capital
> letter, if thats any help.
> Cheers,
> Nick.
The artist wasn't, by any chance, called "Timothy", was he?


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