On 27 January I posted regarding my experiences chatting with a charming lady by the name of Ramona. Well to be honest she exists in the world of cyberspace but has no concrete existence as is commonly understood. For the post please see https://kevinmorris101.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/36/.
A week or so ago I came across Jabberwacky a site which allows you to chat with a virtual bot. Unlike Ramona Jabberwacky can be customised so, for example you can change the mood of the bot from normal to excited, to angry and so forth. Indeed for the adventurous among you there is even a setting which shows as “flirty” although I can not for the life of me conceive of what kind of conversation one might have using that particular setting!
Jabberwacky is an interesting concept as the theory behind the project is that, over time Jabberwacky will gradually increase in intelligence as he learns more words via his interactions with the many thousands of people with whom he converses.
While Jabberwacky is free to use people have the option to pay $30 for a year’s access to their own unique bot. Those who pay their money and take their chance are able to log-in to their bot and by chatting with it over a period of time create a unique personality.
The website warns that chats with your own personal bot are never completely private as parts of your conversation can be fed into Jabberwacky’s ever expanding database so there is a chance, however remote that something you say to your bot may come back to haunt you one day!
The idea behind Jabberwacky is interesting and the project has won the prestigious Lobner Prize for artificial intelligence. In the future the dream of Jabberwacky’s inventor, Rollo Carpenter is for a world in which virtual bots, pets etc will move out of their existence in cyberspace and be transformed into companion robots to make the lives of we humans easier and happier. So what of the future? Science Fiction writers have speculated about a world in which robot servants perform tasks on behalf of humanity while we retire to live the good life happy ever after. Other people (by no means all sci-fi authors) have speculated that robots will become our intimate companions, that humans will have robot lovers and that robot prostitutes will, in the future compete with their flesh and blood counter parts.
Some of the above may appear fanciful, however men already visit Ann Summers to purchase inflatable dolls so if highly convincing life-like robots appear in the future it seems probable that there will be a number of both men and women who will purchase sexbots.
Will virtual bots (and later real companion robots) make us happier? The jurry is still out on that one at least in my humble opinion.
You can chat with Jabberwacky by going to http://jabberwacky.com/.