Should Chat-bots be human-like?


To identify machine intelligence, Turing developed in 1950 the so-called Turing Test. The idea is quite simple, different experts are communicating text-only with two players and have to distinguish, who of them is a human being and who a machine. Up to today, machines had not been able to convince all the human judges, but results get better. In 2014 a chat-bot software portrayed a 13-year Ukrainian boy and with this could convince in the Turing Test 30% of judges, that it was a real boy.[ IT companies assume that after the development of the smart-phone, intelligent chat-bots will be the next important step. Such software can connect to global databases, connect and interpret them.

But should intelligent chat-bots be human-like? Humans prefer a bot which pretends to be human or they would perceive the same benefit from a bot, which clearly acts like a machine?

Artificial Intelligence
Customer Service
Patrick Henz
49 months ago

3 answers


I think bot should not impersonate humans as people has different expectation when talking with real persons, robots definitely are not. If trying to do this, if failing this will just create much more confusion and our perception will be even worse.

Paolo Beffagnotti
49 months ago
Thanks, I agree. - Patrick 49 months ago
I remember the case of the 13 years old boy. “Eugene” replied to series of 5 minutes text and convinced 33% of the judges that he was human. To me a chat box does not think in a cognitive sense but is more a simulator working based on scripts - Paolo 49 months ago
Thanks Paolo. The Turing Test does not test Artificial Intelligence, but the quality of the simulation. - Patrick 49 months ago
You are right but it looks that MIT tried to create a visual Turing Test for AI few years ago, - Paolo 49 months ago
Interesting, thanks for the link!! - Patrick 49 months ago
My pleasure, it is always useful to discuss on these matters on the board. Please let me know if you have any thought on this - Paolo 49 months ago
It will be interesting to follow the development, Toyota presented the "Kirobo Mini", a "compact and cuddlesome" mini robot, which can connect to the car, smart-phone and internet to function as voice-based interphase. - Patrick 49 months ago
i heard that Kirobo is a kind of conversation partner and it costs around 400$ - Paolo 49 months ago
It is both, it is a conversation partner, but also an inter-phase to the Toyota-car and -smart house (sorry not phone). - Patrick 49 months ago
Providing with voice, emotion and facial recognition this could be interesting. let's see how it will become popular, i guess it could be successful on the Japanese market. - Paolo 49 months ago

There is an difference between the underlying AI and the interface. A Chat-bot is an interface. The choice of interface should be based on an analysis of the audience and their needs.

Ed A
49 months ago
Thanks Ed, a good point. The bot is just an interface, for this it fits on the smartphone (for example), as the underlying AI is stored in the Cloud. Today's GPS offer different languages and voices (including a selection of well-known actors as Morgan Freeman). This affects the way the information gets presented. - Patrick 49 months ago
Thanks to technological development, the preferences could go further; for example the chatbot could be friendly, aggressive, confident, obsequious, etc. Such "behavior" could be chosen by the user, or by the company (owner of the AI service), based on their idea how they want to talk with the end-user. - Patrick 49 months ago

Ed Addison made a valuable point. We need to differentiate between the interface and the technology behind it. A chat-bot technology framework can be wrapped into Alexa or Sophie or skype contact. What makes a machine look Human like is largely dependent upon how we human perceive. Another aspect is evolution. I have seen transition from no mobile to smartphone, very difficult and conflicting change. The generation born in smartphone age would not have that issue, so we adopt to the technology.

Abhishek Singh
49 months ago
Good point Ed! Generation Z grows up with smart-phone and voice-based interfaces like Alexa. Since early in school they learn coding. As language affects thinking, maybe they understand AI better than earlier generations and due to this, would not need or be interested in "human-like" chat-bots. - Patrick 49 months ago

Have some input?