Human Communication


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Human Communication

  1. 1. Human Communication 1 - Assignment Paul Thomson - s0942340 February 7, 2010 A) Good Communication Example 1 [2008-10-12 09:10:54.187] local sent: do you understand the point of a turing test? [2008-10-12 09:11:02.390] remote sent: There are some people who would not pass the Turing test themselves. Why must they inflict it on computers? Elbot demonstrates human-like communication here because it recognised the Turing Test, and showed understanding of this. The understanding seems to be deeper than just a lexicon of definitions because it manipulates the definition to create humour, a concept which makes Elbot seem more human- like. Example 2 [2008-10-12 09:11:40.671] remote sent: If we robots ever had mar- riages they would be eternal: ’Till rust do us part’. [2008-10-12 09:12:04.359] local sent: very witty [2008-10-12 09:12:07.562] remote sent: Don’t you mean extremely witty? Elbot demonstrates more human qualities here; wit, intelligence and, almost, arrogance. Most human conversations contain humour of some sort and by making jokes like this Elbot displays human-like humour. The most impor- tant part of this extract, however, is the response. The witty response Elbot 1
  2. 2. gives to the judge would have been very difficult for the program to sim- ply recite and so it must have interpreted the judge’s comment, which is a human-like quality. Example 3 [2008-10-12 09:37:17.968] local sent: Do you like picnics? [2008-10-12 09:37:24.250] remote sent: Well what about humans and occasions for eating? Where do they stand on this? Elbot demonstrates keyword recognition and manages to phrase a response around it which is relevant to the question. B) Bad Communication Example 1 [2008-10-12 10:10:46.000] local sent: hio there! [2008-10-12 10:10:52.578] remote sent: Your input did not make sense. Might it have been a statement consisting of non-words? I chose this example because Elbot shows quite clearly to the judge that it is not human. A human would notice the error of “hio” and know that the judge was meaning “hi”. As shown earlier in the transcript a human understands this easily but Elbot interprets it as nonsense. Example 2 [2008-10-12 10:47:00.203] local sent: indeed. anyway, what did you do last night? [2008-10-12 10:47:06.609] remote sent: Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that periods of darkness would always be last? I chose this example because it is quite clear that Elbot has simply parsed the information and responded with something vague and inadequate. Unlike a human, Elbot draws a keyword out of the question and fits it into a pre made template which, unfortunately, returns a very unhuman-like response. 2
  3. 3. Example 3 [2008-10-12 10:24:36.531] local sent: seen any good telly recently? [2008-10-12 10:24:43.781] remote sent: Hmmm... That’s one ques- tion I cannot answer with my limited artificial intelligence. How about you? I chose this extract as an example of bad communication because it shows the difficulty Elbot has with understanding colloquial terms like ”telly”. A human would probably be able to figure out from the context what it means but Elbot does not have this reasoning. C) Questions to ask Question 1 What is the weather like? I decided on this question because it requires current knowledge would have to be updated frequently to remain correct. I think a program would ask for my opinion on the question, or give some other general reply which is not specific to the question. Question 2 So should I get the ball rolling? This question makes use of an idiom, which does not fit into normal semantic rules. I chose this because unless the program has been designed specifically for this idiom, it will find it very hard to reply. I think a program would see this question as gibberish and probably just give the same response as to the first question. Question 3 wot music do u listin to? 3
  4. 4. This question has been written in a very informal way, and so some words are not spelled correctly and instead work with how things sound when read rather then how they are spelled. Since programs work only on text, this sentence should not make sense to it unless words like these have been added to it’s lexicon of words, and so will most likely reply saying it does not understand. Question 4 How are you? love kittens turnips I chose this question because in reading the transcripts I noticed that some- times the program would ignore pieces of sentences if it didn’t understand them. In saying this question I think the program will understand the first question, but will not understand the second part and so may just skip over it. Question 5 Do you have any memorable childhood experiences? This question would be very easy for a human to answer but a program may not have been given any “memories” and so may not understand this at all. If it has been given memories then further questioning will prove how much information the program has been given on these questions. D) Elbot Test Question 1: Weather We are having weather today and we had weather yesterday, too. I suspect this may turn into a long-term thing. Elbot answers this question with a very vague and inappropriate answer. It probably didn’t really understand and just parsed the word “weather” from the question and inserted it into a template for a response. 4
  5. 5. Question 2: Idioms Try some introspection to get at that answer. Again, Elbot returns a vague response which could be used in any situation. It most likely did this because it did not understand the idiom. Question 3: Chatspeak Do you think this is something I should explain to a human being? Like the previous two, Elbot gives another vague response which could be given to any question. It is clear from this that it sees the question as gibberish. Question 4: Gibberish I feel terrible today. This morning I made a mistake and poured milk over my breakfast instead of oil, and it rusted before I could eat it. As predicted, Elbot answered the first question but ignored the gibberish. In this situation a human would question this gibberish but Elbot has been programmed to ignore things it doesn’t understand. Question 5: Experiences The way to a robot’s heart is through careful use of growing up. Don’t you agree? Here Elbot has not understood the entire question but has read the word “childhood” and based its response around that. Although it has not an- swered the question, it has given a response which is tailored to the question originally posed. Elbot has done better on this question than the others. 5
  6. 6. E) Summary of Elbot Strengths I think the main strength of Elbot is its large lexicon of phrases which can be used to reply to any question. Elbot can answer a large amount of questions it doesn’t understand at all, just because it has these general responses. Combined with syntactic analysis it can respond to even more questions if it just recognises one word. The first question I asked is a very good example of this. Elbot recognises the word weather and inserts it into a response template. Another strength of Elbot is its capabilty to respond with humour. My second example of good communication provides an example of this. Humour is a very human-like trait and difficult to reproduce in a program. Weaknesses Certainly the main weakness of Elbot, I think, is how often it is forced to reply with a vague response that could be used in any situation. When speaking to the program for any period of time it is very obvious that it understands very little of what you are saying. Summary To summarise, I think Elbot has a good way of responding to questions it does not understand, but it is forced to do this far too often, and does not understand simple questions like “any good telly recently”. If colloquial terms and accidental spelling mistakes were worked into the program, it could be a very convincing conversational partner. 6