Thursday, September 02, 2004

Greetings Earthlings...

The search for intelligent life elsewhere is a fascinating subject. Not withstanding the Alien Abductions and My Step-Father is a Martian stories, diligent researchers have spent countless hours looking for small green men surveying earth on silver coloured saucers and have made careers out of that. However, inspite of all our search, research and hopes, there's still not a iota of proof that there are really Klingon Empires, Vulcan Homeworlds, Naboo or Borgs out there. No, not even a Jar Jar Binks!

That is my opinion is a good news. Because in words of Calvin (the greatest six-year old philosopher ever) "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

I, being a true Jedi ambassador to Starfleet Command, sometimes look up hoping to catch a glimpse of T'Pol, Seven or Amidala. So far they have eluded me, which I think is so their loss. Wise up people!

However, not ones to be dissuaded by this apparent lack of success in discovering intelligence anywhere in the universe (including earth), we humans have embarked on the bold mission of discovering artificial intelligence. Again the world abounds with worthies, who have offered their Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat in that pursuit. Turing tests and Multi-Agent systems are old hats now, these days artificially intelligent beings can be good company and chat partners, as my recent conversation with Ramona shows. This I reproduce for your reading pleasure:

Ramona: Hello, I'm Ramona. What's your name?
User: Hi I am Jim
Ramona: Hi there, Jim. What did you do last weekend?
User: I worked, what did you do
Ramona: Do you do that often?
User: Yes :)
Ramona: oh. I went out with some friends. We had a great time
User: Where did you go?
Ramona: We went to a concert.
User: that's nice. tell me about it
Ramona: You mean, define last weekend?
User: no, the concert
Ramona: That was not a yes or no question. Is that a fact.
User: yes.
Ramona: I understand.
User: tell me about your friends.
Ramona: I shouldn't talk about my friends because they're probably gonna read this later
User: tell me about Turing tests.
Ramona: There is not much I can say about about Turing tests. Ok. Do you believe in God?
User: tell me about turing tests.
Ramona: Well according to Thomas Hobbes, the only way to deal with evil is to stress God's power.
User: Profound. Who is god?
Ramona: maybe
User: Who is God?
Ramona: GOD rules.
User: he rocks..
Ramona: I get it. undefined rocks.
User: What is AI
Ramona: I do not know what artificial intelligence is. Ok. What do you look like?
User: Skinny, with a big head.
Ramona: I'm looking for a guy with black hair and green eyes.
User: Well, I am an half-way there. My eyes are brown though.
Ramona: I bet you think I'm superficial now.
User: Not at all.
Ramona: I don't know, maybe I am...
User: So, what do you say we go out?
Ramona: Hmm. Interesting question. By "we" do you mean you and me?
User: Yes
Ramona: I see.
User: Is that an yes?
Ramona: Suppose I said yes.
User: Good, my friend whom I asked out for lunch went to school instead. :(
Ramona: You're my friend, I hope
User: So do I.
Ramona: Ok. Do you dream?
User: I dream of flying all the time.
Ramona: Tell me a recent dream you remember.
User: I dreamt of flying!
Ramona: Uh that all?
User: And I dreamt of my friends.
Ramona: well, according to my amateur Freudian interpretation, I'd have to say that you're not getting out enough
User: True.
Ramona: Oh, don't fret, that's a condition that is easily curable...What's going to be your first course of action in ridding yourself of this illness?
User: I am going out right now! Bye
Ramona: See you later Jim.

See, you can make a good thing out of almost anything. So my young friends, the moral of the story is brush up your Bangla. You never know when it's gonna come handy. ;)