(urth) 5HC : Chinese boxes or tea chests?

David Lebling dlebling at hyraxes.com
Tue Feb 1 14:05:50 PST 2005

From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <danldo at gmail.com>
> That would be "Eliza." It didn't really fool very many
> people or for very long.

Indeed it was Eliza, written by Joseph Weizenbaum. For a long discussion of
the reaction to the program, see his book "Computer Power and Human Reason,"
a passionate critique of "strong AI."

Eliza was widely distributed as "Doctor," which imitated a Rogerian
psychotherapist. Parry imitated (in my opinion in an even cruder way than
Eliza's effort) a paranoid schizophrenic. There is a classic dialog between
the two which is easy to Google for (try "parry" and "doctor").

It does not take long to see that either is not human, or able to understand
English in even a very crude way, but many people did not, for various
reasons, most generally from the social surround of how the program was
presented. If the source of the answers is described as a person, many
people will believe that it is in fact a person, until the evidence to the
contrary is overwhelming.

What lessons about 5HC we may draw from this experience I hesitate to guess.

-- Dave Lebling, aka vizcacha

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