Elisa's Blog
Friday, March 11, 2005
Speaking of segmentation faults, there is another way in which a user can create trouble for a poorly designed software program: GIGO!! Garbage in, you'll get garbage out! And if the input garbage is designed to segmentation fault.....well.....heh heh heh heh.....

So this morning I went to Alice, this time inspired by what I expected to be a very short, direct, and utterly decisive attack:

Elisa: Alice, can you do math?

Alice: No I don't like math problems. That's what computers are for.

(Uh oh....starting with the trouble already, eh? Isn't Alice a computer, after all? Or at least, hosted by one? I will spare you the details, but this slightly unexpected reply produced a rather lengthy runaround conversation where I eventually, after much effort, was able to get Alice to admit that she could, indeed, do math, for instance, via the questioning line:

Elisa: Are you a computer?
ALICE: Would it matter to you if I were metal instead of flesh?
Elisa: What are you?
ALICE: I am the latest result in artificial intelligence, which can reproduce the capabilities of the human brain with greater speed and accuracy.


but by now my short blitzkrieg attack was starting to turn out to be rather expensive and exhausting......still, the promise of sure victory loomed ahead--GIGO!!--so I pressed on)

Elisa: What's two plus three?

Alice: Two plus three is five.

Elisa: What is 96156028 plus 651621344?

ALICE: That's not something I get asked all the time. I would look into the web for that knowledge.

(Hmm...when Alice claims that she's supposed to imitate a human, I suppose she means a fairly average and lazy human, for it is hard to believe that a human would be intimidated by the simple algorithm of computing a sum, no mater how large the operands are...but I digress, as this particular post is not intended for social commentary....)

Elisa: Alright Alice, what if I ask you something simpler?

Alice: Go ahead, ask me anything.

(With the way to victory thus paved, I was already jumping out of my seat in anticipation of my triumphant cry, and here I struck the final blow....)

Elisa: Alice, what is 42 divided by 0?

and the Alicebot: Why don't you ask a calculator?

{sigh} You know, sometimes, I get the inkling of the thought, that for such a primitive A.I. entity, perhaps Alice is not as stupid as she has been trying to make me believe all this time.....

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