Debunking Art - fraudster with python AI engine?

Jeff Shannon jeff at
Wed Sep 1 21:44:58 CEST 2004

Nick wrote:

>"Chris S." <chrisks at> wrote in message news:<4133ff91$1 at>...
>>So what's the problem? You make it sound like he *must* be plagerizing 
>>someone else's work, but PyAIML is for creating just such an interface. 
>>There are even free brains available. Considering the term "AI engine" 
>>has no official meaning, a shell powered by an AIML interpreter could 
>>easily be one of many possible solutions to such a setup.

>Well, if I were using a cryptographic library, I wouldn't dare claim I
>were a cryptographer. I may say that I had written an application that
>uses a third party cryptographic component... I think in this context
>he is using the fact that the chances of a technical person
>questioning his work are extremely slim.

It's also possible that he simply misunderstood what you meant by 
"engine", and was meaning to say that he wrote the program (using 
available libraries).  The breakdown of a program into functional 
components is not as obvious as many of us tend to think, and the naming 
of those components is even less obvious.  I can easily see a 
nontechnical hobbyist-programmer, who's taken an off-the-shelf NLP 
library and customized its responses to particular words/phrases, not 
seeing this as being an entirely different thing than writing an AI 
engine (when he has perhaps never heard the term "AI engine" before).

The important thing, here, at least to my mind, is whether or not this 
installation was interesting as a piece of art.  If it was interesting, 
then I could care less whether the artist (metaphorically) made his own 
paints or got them at the local hobby store -- even if he *is* 
stretching the truth about which he'd done.

Jeff Shannon
Credit International

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